The Bloodhound SSC land speed record attempt has been postponed until the second half of 2018.
In the latest round of announcements from the Bloodhound team, it was revealed that outstanding work on the recently updated rocket has delayed the attempt by nearly a year - the car was scheduled to make its attempt at cracking 1000mph in October.
Project director Richard Noble said: “It's frustrating to change our schedule again – we know everyone is excited about seeing the car run. We want that too, but our pace of development has to be pegged to the flow of funding.”
The team also announced that it has gained two new, unnamed sponsors, but hinted at a fashion brand and IT company, with more sponsors in the pipeline.
Final stages announcement
The car was announced to have moved into final stages of preparation, ahead of its first high-speed run in 2017, last year.
The car returned to 3M’s state-of-the-art Atherstone facility for its final paint job, where a top coat that will have to survive supersonic speeds was applied.
Work on Bloodhound's upper chassis began on 19 December, after Geely, Volvo's parent company and China’s seventh largest car maker, provided funding as the project's “prime sponsor and official automotive partner”. The project aims to set a new outright land speed record of over 1000mph on a specially prepared track in South Africa in 2018.
The deal, which was signed in August and runs for three years, is a godsend for Bristol-based Bloodhound. The project has been practically mothballed about a year ago when its principals announced that previously laid testing plans were on hold — with the car about 85% built — because of a lack of finance.
The Geely deal
The actual size of Geely’s new financial contribution is not being disclosed, but it is understood to be worth millions.
Bloodhound’s project director Richard Noble, welcomed Geely as “a company with tremendous vision and capability that shares our passion for innovation and education” and said the Bloodhound team would be able to proceed with long-planned UK shakedown trials at Newquay airport in 2017, then proceed straight to its ready-prepared 11-mile track at Hakskeen Pan, South Africa, to try to reach 800mph.
"We showed Bloodhound SSC at Canary Wharf earlier this year," said Noble. "For that, we did what is known as a dry build. About 90% of the components were in place but the car wasn't yet in a condition to run. It will take us about nine months to get to a running condition, then we'll go to Newquay airport next July, first to do tie-down tests and then to run the car up to 200mph.