Richard Noble, one of the key brains behind Britain’s latest bid to break the world land speed record, has spoken exclusively to Autocar about his “unique project without precedent”.
The project director of Bloodhound SSC says his team are facing an enormous challenge as they can’t draw inspiration from any other sector.
“We can’t draw anything from any industry, be it aerospace or automotive, so what we’re doing is without precedent,” he said. “We set out to create a unique project and what we’ve ended up with is a real jaw-dropper.”
Thrust SSC, a project Noble was also involved in, currently holds the record with 763mph. Bloodhound is aiming to crack 1000mph and will begin its attempts in South Africa in 2011.
Noble says the 27-month design process has been “sheer hell” and the team have gone through 10 design evolutions to reach this point. The team have had to undergo a fundamental redesign at one stage to reposition the car’s rocket from above the jet engine to below it.
“It was one of those light-bulb moments,” said Noble. “Usually with design you tend to make small changes but this wasn’t the case here. We design things and then put them through the computer design software and usually find them to be completely hopeless, but we’ve got there now.”
Noble says the team have spent more than £2 million to reach the point where they have a car ready to build.
“We have got the rocket, a design, the engine and the place to build it, so we’ve now just got to get on and build it,” he said. “We’ve got money left in the bank but we’re working on more funding all the time.”