The Bloodhound SSC supersonic car will make its first land speed record attempt in October 2017 after new funding has put the project back on track.
The 13.5-metre-long vehicle will first run in June of next year as part of a 220mph test session, before heading to the South African desert in October with the aim of breaking the current land speed record of 763mph. That run, which aims to take the Bloodhound to 800mph, will also be used to gather data for the car’s headline-grabbing 1000mph record attempt in 2018.
“This is probably the biggest moment in the Project’s history," said Project Director Richard Noble. "Before we could only see financially a few months ahead but now we can put our foot down and really go for it.
"We’re in this position thanks to the incredible support of our partners and sponsors, and the dedication and sacrifice of many people, including a skeleton crew who have held the fort and quite literally kept the lights on.
"Most of all it has been the amazing public response that has sustained us. Thousands of children up and down the country are racing Model Rocket Cars and there is tremendous public enthusiasm for the Project wherever we go."
Bloodhound's new partners are due to be announced in the coming months.
The car and its engines
Bloodhound's engineers can now return to the project and begin to dissasemble the so called trial-build car (the first revealed car was a trial fit of all the parts without fluids), and then reassemble the car ahead of its first run, checking everything fits and adding new parts where necessary.
Power for the Bloodhound comes from three sources – with the primary engine being the same Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine that powers the Eurofighter Typhoon. The jet engine will only allow Bloodhound to reach around 650mph, however, at which point the car’s hybrid rocket will be activated, propelling the car to its first target of 800mph.
Feeding the hybrid rocket with propellant will be Jaguar’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine – the same unit that appears in the F-Type sports car. It’s rated for 550bhp and can pump up to 40 litres of propellant per second; officials say the unit could fill a standard bath tub with propellant in three seconds.
Combined, Bloodhound’s engines have 133,151bhp – the same as 111 Bugatti Veyron Super Sports. The record-breaking 0-1000mph run is expected to take just 55 seconds, with the full run – including deceleration – taking just over two minutes.
Driving Bloodhound SSC will be Andy Green, who already holds the current land speed record – having achieved 763mph in Thrust SSC in 1997. Bloodhound project director Richard Noble – himself a land speed record holder – says both car and driver have been developed together. “Andy is the only person who’s been supersonic in a car," said Noble. "It is highly spectacular, of course. It’s all about human endeavour and human progress.”
Noble describes stopping Bloodhound as being “the difficult part” of the challenge. “What we have is a low-drag, heavy piece of machinery travelling at 1000mph, so the kinetic energy is huge," he said. "Stopping it is actually more difficult than getting it up to speed.”