Work is well underway on Britain’s latest land speed record attempt – the new Bloodhound SuperSonic Car (SSC) which aims to reach 1000mph plus.
CAR reported on the preparation of the project in October 2008; one year later a mock-up is ready and the car is due to be built in Bristol’s docklands.
The Bloodhound SSC houses one EJ200 Raf Euofighter Typhoon engine sitting above a hybrid rocket. The Eurofighter Typhoon engines, loaned by the MOD, originally sat below the rocket, however the thrust caused by this layout caused a high lift load at the rear of the car in tests.
The solution was to flip their positioning, adding a larger 400kg rocket. The move has allowed space for a fin to boost stability and downforce of the Bloodhound at supersonic speeds.
Bloodhound SSC: how quick?
It takes 4.5 miles for the Bloodhound to reach its top speed – which is why a huge open space is required. Cue empty stretch of desert. After 18 months of surveying the US and Australian outback, the chosen test track is Hakskeen Pan, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. The record attempt is currently scheduled for 2011.
The South African desert was picked for its space: 19km long, 5km wide, plus it’s very hard and very flat. The location was picked by former record holder Andy Green, who recced sites a year and a half.
RAF pilot Green already holds the previous record back in 1997 in the Thrust SCC reaching 763mph and is training in the RAF’s Typhoon simulator, a jetfighter that reaches 1300mph.
The education bit
Bloodhound is a record-breaking attempt with a difference – it’s being used to drum up interest in science, technology and maths in British education. More than 2410 primary and secondary schools, 98 further education colleges and 33 universities have signed up to use the Bloodhound education resources in lessons.
See the video below for the virtual Bloodhound versus Eurofighter Typhoon. And let’s hope we see records smashed in 2011. Pack your earplugs!