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Bloodhound SSC: Land-speed record project goes into administration

Published: 15 October 2018

► 135,000bhp target
► First revealed in 2007
► £25 million needed for 1000mph target

It looks like the Bloodhound SSC’s hopes of smashing the world land speed record have come to a halt – for now at least. Today, a post on the project’s website revealed the organisation had gone into administration, and would need increased financial backing to achieve its 1000mph goal.

According to the post, the project has ‘entered into administration with the appointment of Andrew Sheridan and Geoff Rowley, partners at specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory LLP, as joint administrators on 15 October 2018.’

The news follows a successful 200mph straight line test in Cornwall, and comes over a decade after the project was first revealed in 2007. Interestingly though, this might not be the end: Andrew Sheridan, joint administrator, believes that the project’s goal is still viable. 

'Whilst not an insignificant amount, the £25m Bloodhound requires to break the land speed record is a fraction of the cost of, for example, finishing last in a F1 season or running an America's Cup team,' he said in a statement. 'This is an opportunity for the right investor to leave a lasting legacy. We are already in discussion with a number of potential investors and would encourage any other interested party to contact us without delay.'

Fingers crossed then! In the meantime, here’s everything else we know about the Bloodhound SSC car.

Just how fast is the Bloodhound SSC?

The Bloodhound is powered by a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine from a Eurofighter, a cluster of Nammo hybrid rockets and a 550bhp Jaguar V8. At full chat, it's due to cover a mile in 3.6 seconds.

The 135,000bhp motor drives the 7.5-tonne, four-wheeled missile for just long enough to hit the 1000mph barrier, in theory.

As for stopping it? An air brake deploys at 800mph, the parachute at 600mph and conventional friction discs come into play at 'just' 200mph.

The  team behind the Bloodhound SSC land speed record have also completed 200mph dry-run - in Cornwall! After Cornwall, the supersonic jet car planned to head to South Africa for summer testing. Airbrakes and new winglets (visible in this rendering by Flock and Siemens) would have been added as the speed ramped

What's it like to drive? 

The Bloodhound SSC's cabin is cramped and looks more like the cockpit of a Eurofighter jet than a car. Which means it's business as usual for Andy Green, the RAF pilot who will drive it.

Fighter pilot Green, who received an OBE for his record, said: 'I’ve met graduate engineers who are adamant that our previous record was what inspired their career choice as youngsters: that sort of thing makes all the effort worthwhile.'

Out of time?

It’s been off-schedule from the very beginning though; in 2009, it aimed for a 800mph run, followed by a 900mph attempt in 2010 and the full 1000mph in 2011. It’s 2018 now, guys.

 The project was sponsored by oil company STP for the initial the four-year project, but new funding is needed for the 1000mph goal to be achieved.

Are land speed records still relevant? Click 'Add your comment' and have your say

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast