RE: Bloodhound LSR back on track

RE: Bloodhound LSR back on track

Wednesday 10th July

Bloodhound LSR back on track

Britain's land speed record challenger is finally heading to South Africa for a new round of testing



Some exciting news to start your Wednesday with: Bloodhound's land speed record attempt is back on track. The announcement in March that Ian Warhurst, entrepreneur and owner of precision engineering firm Melett, had stepped in to save the ailing venture was greeted with jubilation by its supporters. There was still a degree of uncertainty as to exactly what he would be able to achieve, however, with both his own resources and the true state of the Bloodhound project unknown.

Now, though, we bring you news that having already invested a "seven figure" sum, Warhurst has committed to ensuring that cash flow remains constant at least through the first phase of testing. This means that the Bloodhound is finally set to travel to South Africa's Hakskeen Pan, where the team will not only gather invaluable data ahead of future, faster runs, but also offer highly-interested yet understandably cautious potential sponsors - of which there are said to be many - the reassurances they need to get involved.

Independent research by YouGov has estimated that as many as 1.5 billion viewers could potentially witness the record attempt live online, making it a highly lucrative event. And the availability for the first time of both title and livery sponsorship opportunities ought to help appeal to companies with pockets deep enough to ensure that Warhurst will not be shouldering the financial burden of the project single-handedly for much longer.

So they're going. Flights and hotels are being booked, the necessary paperwork to ship a 54,000hp Eurofighter engine to another continent has been completed, and both car and team are set to fly to South Africa this October. All involved are obviously eager to engage in the Bloodhound's first dynamic tests since its highly successful 200mph run in the UK in 2017.


But what are they hoping to achieve? Well, even the most advanced computer modelling can be inaccurate and, as driver Andy Green puts it, "there is no wind tunnel with a 1,000mph conveyor belt", so the only way for the team to gather the data necessary to progress is to test in the real world. Specifically, they'll be looking to analyse the car's performance during the transition between 300-500mph, where it shifts from relying on its wheels for stability to aerodynamics. During this time the solid aluminium discs, the rims of which experience 50,000G at full speed, will rise up from the 25mm indents they carve in the pan's baked mud surface to sit just a couple of millimetres into it, vastly reducing the amount of control that the driver has and making it vital that the team understands how Bloodhound will behave.

They'll also be full running a full dress rehearsal for the record-breaking 1,000mph runs - scheduled for late 2020 - using the opportunity to develop and perfect operational procedures, desert working practices and radio communications. Oh, and they'll be testing the brakes and parachutes, too. "Going fast is optional, stopping isn't", says Green.

With a total of 10-12 test runs set to take place, and terabytes of data to be gathered via over 500 sensors and cameras mounted on the car, the team is expected to spend up to a month in Africa. No rockets are required to reach the target speed of 500mph this time around, so the trials will use up what little life is left in the currently installed jet engine - which once saw service as Eurofighter development unit - before the team switches to one of its other two turbines for the rest of testing and the record attempt.


This is obviously good news for everyone involved in the project thus far, not least the local Mier community, which had spent years shifting 16,500 tonnes of stone to prepare a 22 million square metre, 12-mile stretch of the desert for a car which seemed destined never to arrive.

Speaking of the new developments, Bloodhound CEO Ian Warhurst commented: "I'm thrilled that we can announce Bloodhound's first trip to South Africa for these high speed testing runs. This world land speed record campaign is unlike any other, with the opportunities opened up by digital technology that enabled the team to test the car's design using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and that will allow us to gather and share data about the car's performance in real time. In addition, we're running the car on a brand new surface. The wheels have been designed specifically for this desert lake bed, but it will still be vital to test them at high speeds before making record speed runs."

"The section of the track we'll use is 16km [10 miles] by 500m, with large safety areas on both sides. This allows us to lay out up to 12 individual tracks side by side. This is important as we can't run over the same piece of ground twice because the car will break up the baked mud surface as it passes. We need multiple tracks so we can build speed slowly and safely - going up in 50mph steps, comparing real-world results with theoretical data - and Hakskeen Pan is the perfect place to do this."

It may have been a bumpy ride so far, and the journey is far from over yet, but it seems that the Bloodhound team is back on the scent of that elusive land speed record, then. Just a few short months ago the project seemed doomed. We're fairly certain we won't be the only ones to say that we couldn't be happier to see it back on track.


 

Author
Discussion

Turfy

Original Poster:

856 posts

124 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
First to say smile

blasos

228 posts

105 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
Gotta admire the tenacity of these guys. I've got a feeling they're gonna see it through by hook or by crook.

ConorE

315 posts

83 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
I think Red Bull would be a great sponsor for this if this doesn’t make it past testing. The audience they create for events like Felix Baumgartner’s jump suggests this would make great commercial sense for them.

The Crack Fox

13,449 posts

135 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
I should be excited by this, and admire their tenacity, but there’s been so much noise for so long I’m sort of bored of it all. There’s also a strange, pervading sense of “so what?” about the record.

British Beef

1,193 posts

108 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
The Crack Fox said:
I should be excited by this, and admire their tenacity, but there’s been so much noise for so long I’m sort of bored of it all. There’s also a strange, pervading sense of “so what?” about the record.
Good shout, or Monster or any other energy drink brand, so the can label the event ......... "Going faster than Redbull"
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midenginedcoupe

4,357 posts

75 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
YouGov said:
as many as 1.5 billion viewers could potentially witness the record attempt live online
rofl

Unless by "potentially" they mean "have access to the internet where it will be broadcast"

Sandpit Steve

207 posts

17 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
Great news for a fantastic project, been following this for the best part of a decade now. They’ve always been great with community engagement and getting kids interested in the sciences, which is why it’s always been a shame they couldn’t find a lead sponsor to see it through. Best of luck to them!

cookie1600

1,178 posts

104 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
British Beef said:
Good shout, or Monster or any other energy drink brand, so the can label the event ......... "Going faster than Redbull"
Or how about Rich Energy, they've been talking bull for a couple of years now and it could be a great way for Mr Storey to put the new logo on something big and fast (no, not the Whyte Bikes one).

Of course that's tongue in cheek, it would be doomed to failure if they did.

Mafffew

1,444 posts

54 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
ConorE said:
I think Red Bull would be a great sponsor for this if this doesn’t make it past testing. The audience they create for events like Felix Baumgartner’s jump suggests this would make great commercial sense for them.
I suspect Red Bull have already considered and rejected the idea.

sgtBerbatov

1,434 posts

24 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
cookie1600 said:
British Beef said:
Good shout, or Monster or any other energy drink brand, so the can label the event ......... "Going faster than Redbull"
Or how about Rich Energy, they've been talking bull for a couple of years now and it could be a great way for Mr Storey to put the new logo on something big and fast (no, not the Whyte Bikes one).

Of course that's tongue in cheek, it would be doomed to failure if they did.
To be fair, if they did sponsor it then it'd be going so fast you wouldn't see the logo...

wab172uk

1,332 posts

170 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
Lets hope they succeed this time. Sadly it'll probably end up being another story of cash flow problems next year.

It's a great project for all those involved, but not really relevant in todays world. I'd have thought the next goal for land speed records will come from EV cars. I can see car manufacturers being involved to get bragging rights as to who can hit the fastest speeds. Now that would probably push technology to create better road EV cars, which sadly is the way it's going.

Current land speed record? I'd rather have faster broadband. Sad but true.

Cambs_Stuart

545 posts

27 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
Richard Noble gave a speech at an award do i was at back in November. At that point he was out of money, he said he was even out of money to raise money. The frustration, anger and determination was radiating off him in waves.
Good luck to them. Really hope they do this.

janesmith1950

3,284 posts

38 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
There isn't a wind tunnel with a 1000mph conveyor belt? Oh noes!

midenginedcoupe

4,357 posts

75 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
wab172uk said:
Lets hope they succeed this time. Sadly it'll probably end up being another story of cash flow problems next year.

It's a great project for all those involved, but not really relevant in todays world. I'd have thought the next goal for land speed records will come from EV cars. I can see car manufacturers being involved to get bragging rights as to who can hit the fastest speeds. Now that would probably push technology to create better road EV cars, which sadly is the way it's going.

Current land speed record? I'd rather have faster broadband. Sad but true.
I don't even see how it would push EV tech, either. The land speed record has been an irrelevance for generations now, I simply can't see any redeeming trickle-down benefits that couldn't be achieved better and more cheaply by other means. It's a hobbyist's vanity project - nothing more, nothing less. And spare me the "inspiring children" crap. Imagine what giving the same amount of money to a group of teachers could achieve - they'd have a much more meaningful impact than some education-washing as an aside.

Gojira

375 posts

66 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
Good grief, there are some miserable feckers on here, aren't there? eek

Lotobear

1,386 posts

71 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
...and I always thought this was a car enthusiasts site!

ntiz

761 posts

79 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
midenginedcoupe said:
I don't even see how it would push EV tech, either. The land speed record has been an irrelevance for generations now, I simply can't see any redeeming trickle-down benefits that couldn't be achieved better and more cheaply by other means. It's a hobbyist's vanity project - nothing more, nothing less. And spare me the "inspiring children" crap. Imagine what giving the same amount of money to a group of teachers could achieve - they'd have a much more meaningful impact than some education-washing as an aside.
They would give themselves a big pay rise and even bigger pension. With the exact same not my job attitude and with no fks given to educating the kids??

I think it’s a brilliant project. Why does there have to be some big reason for doing it?

More money will be spent this year on blokes kicking a ball around a stadium while everybody goes crazy! Why do we flock to see old irrelevant cars be raced at good wood or Le Man? Because it’s fun and a spectacle? What was the trickle of a bloke jumping off a pod practically in space? Nothing but it was incredible and made people go wow.

Humans are awesome and we can do amazing things so why shouldn’t we.

P.s we spend billions on education and it gets pissed up the wall when we give them more billions more gets wasted. This project would be a drop in the ocean.

j90gta

476 posts

77 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
This has engaged plenty of children through many school science projects. My son was one of those youngsters who had his name included in the original livery; presume this won't be part of any proposed new sponsorship.

oilit

724 posts

121 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
Gojira said:
Good grief, there are some miserable feckers on here, aren't there? eek
^^^^THIS^^^^

We always need good news and a demonstration that the UK can achieve great things - kudos to the determination of the team I say.

midenginedcoupe

4,357 posts

75 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
ntiz said:
midenginedcoupe said:
I don't even see how it would push EV tech, either. The land speed record has been an irrelevance for generations now, I simply can't see any redeeming trickle-down benefits that couldn't be achieved better and more cheaply by other means. It's a hobbyist's vanity project - nothing more, nothing less. And spare me the "inspiring children" crap. Imagine what giving the same amount of money to a group of teachers could achieve - they'd have a much more meaningful impact than some education-washing as an aside.
They would give themselves a big pay rise and even bigger pension. With the exact same not my job attitude and with no fks given to educating the kids??

I think it’s a brilliant project. Why does there have to be some big reason for doing it?

More money will be spent this year on blokes kicking a ball around a stadium while everybody goes crazy! Why do we flock to see old irrelevant cars be raced at good wood or Le Man? Because it’s fun and a spectacle? What was the trickle of a bloke jumping off a pod practically in space? Nothing but it was incredible and made people go wow.

Humans are awesome and we can do amazing things so why shouldn’t we.

P.s we spend billions on education and it gets pissed up the wall when we give them more billions more gets wasted. This project would be a drop in the ocean.
My point isn't that you shouldn't enjoy the project, be interested by it or that it shouldn't exist. Quite the reverse.

I'm only saying don't try to justify it because of its engineering or educational benefits. "Because we want to" is justification enough, just don't pretend it's something more than it is.