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UK Supersonic Car Prepares For Record-Breaking Run

Jul 05, 2016 02:42 AM EDT
Bloodhound 1000mph Land speed record project
The Bloodhound supersonic car project has been pushed through, and is now preparing to break land speed record in October 2017.
(Photo : Tony Hisgett / Wikimedia Commons)

The Bloodhound SSC supersonic car is gearing up for its first attempt to beat land speed record in October 2017.

New funding has put the development back on track after the project had been on hold in recent months.

"We now have the most vision of forward-funding that we've ever had," Conor La Grue, components chief, told BBC.

"In the past, we've only ever really had funding to plan two to three months ahead. We're now in a position to go all the way through to taking the record," La Grue added.

According to Autocar UK, the 13.5-meter-long rocket car will first run in June 2017 as part of a 220mph test session before heading to the South African desert in October to beat the current land speed record of 763 mph.

The Bloodhound aims to raise the record to 800mph in the South Africa run.

"This is probably the biggest moment in the project's history," project director Richard Noble told Autocar.

The partially constructed car was showcased at Canary Wharf in London last September. Since then, the car had been waiting untouched at the Bloodhound's headquarters in Bristol, UK.

The Bloodhound will be powered by a Eurofighter Typhoon jet engine to reach speeds in the low hundreds, but the car would need an engine booster to make it to 800mph.

The rocket will be using a specially made gearbox and pump powered by a Jaguar V8.

The team plans to employ the rocket in a monopropellant configuration, which means the motor will not burn fuel grains. To produce thrust, the car will pump concentrated hydrogen peroxide at pressure across a catalyst, and it will decompose into steam and oxygen. The hot gases will then be directed outward through a nozzle at high velocity, BBC reports.

Bloodhound is the descendant of Thrust SSC, another British jet-propelled car, which had set the current land speed record of 763mph in a United States run in October 1997. The team behind Thrust SSC has reprised their roles for the Bloodhound, including Noble and driver Andy Green.

The Bloodhound team has also set out to inspire the next generation of engineers by visiting schools in the UK and setting up workshops and rocket challenges for children. More than 5,000 schools have already taken part in these learning programs, where school children have been building mini rocket cars and using computers to monitor their cars.

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