Bloodhound preps for land speed record with 200MPH test run


Described by the Bloodhound Project as "the world's most advanced straight-line racing auto", the Bloodhound SSC reached a peak speed of 340 km/h (210mph). The test was a prelude for the rocket-powered car's ultimate, record-setting goal: 1,000 miles per hour (1,610 km/h). Before then, however, the team had to prove that the vehicle was more than vapourware and broken promises.

It is powered by the same Rolls-Royce rocket engine used in Eurofighter Typhoon jets, the newspaper says, as well as "three Norwegian Nammo hybrid rockets" and a V8 motor from a Jaguar sports auto. That's well within the range of current production cars, but they plan to take the vehicle up to 650 miles per hour with their current set-up, according to the BBC. The record attempt will be made on the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa, hopefully in 2019. The public tests will evaluate its steering, brakes, suspension, air intake, and electronics systems. They stepped in a year ago when the project had stalled for lack of cash, and more major sponsors would be welcome. Funding has always been a problem for the team in Bristol, which relies on sponsorship and fan donations to operate.

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During the trials in Cornwall, Mr Green and his team pushed the auto up to around 200mph to check its progress. They are, though, also a marketing tool which the team hopes will attract the interest and, ultimately, the cash of a deep-pocketed investor. Driven by RAF Wing Commander Andy Green, there are few men better suited for the job: in 1997 former he broke the sound barrier with the Thrust SCC team, averaging 763.035mph to set a world record (which he will attempt to break initially with the Bloodhound SCC, before attempting to hit the final 1,000mph goal). We're not surprised; he's waited as long as the public to finally push the accelerator pedal. See PA story TRANSPORT Bloodhound.