The Bloodhound SSC land speed record attempt is announcing major milestones today, including the finalisation of the car's design, a new HQ for the project, and the news that the record runs will all take place in South Africa.
According to the latest press release, Bloodhound SSC (Super Sonic Car) has gone through ten design evolutions since the project started. The original plan had been to position a small 200kg rocket above the heavier 1,000kg EJ200 Eurofighter Typhoon jet engine and the car was designed accordingly.
As the project developed it became clear that more thrust was required to overcome the aerodynamic drag, the team says. This culminated in a hybrid rocket weighing 400kg but the extra thrust also created a fresh challenge: The rocket firing would violently pitch the car nose-down, destabilising the whole vehicle. The engineering team was thus forced into a re-design which saw the jet engine repositioned over the rocket.
According to the team, Bloodhound SSC will feature the largest hybrid rocket ever designed in the UK. It weighs 400kg, is 45cm in diameter, and at 4.25m is the same length as an F1 car. The rocket is designed to produce 27,500lbs of thrust. Together with 20,000lbs from the EJ200 jet engine, this will give the car the equivalent of 135,000hp, or the power of 180 F1 cars.
The Bloodhound's other features include a cockpit designed by its driver Wing Commander Andy Green, based on his experience flying fighter jets and on the cockpit of his previous World Land Speed Record car Thrust SSC. Lockheed Martin UK has been developing 90cms diameter aluminium wheels design to ensure they can withstand forces of 50,000 radial g at the rim and support a 6.5 tonne car travelling at 1,050mph.
The Bloodhound SSC team has also announced its runs will take place in the Hakskeen Pan desert, in the Northern Cape province of South Africa - where the regional government has promised to clear a 12 mile track as part of its own plans to develop a world-class adventure sports location.
Back in Blighty, the Bloodhound project has a new HQ in Bristol's docklands, next door to the
SS Great Britain
. Construction of the car will now begin at the new Bloodhound Technical Centre, or 'the doghouse' as it has been informally named.
You'll also be able to see the Bloodhound SSC at the PistonHeads show on 14-17 January.