Bloodhound Supersonic Car Goes from Design to Reality

By Tiffany Trader

September 24, 2015

At a packed public forum on Canary Wharf in east London today, 8,000 visitors turned up to see the world’s fastest and most advanced racing car: Bloodhound SSC. Not only is this supercar a marvel of engineering, being designed to break the 1,000 mph land speed record, the project has an even more primary mission: to inspire a future generation about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The land speed racer was many years in the making. Launched in 2007, the Bloodhound team is comprised of experts from Formula 1 and aerospace. Several of the core team members — including driver Andy Green, project director Richard Noble, and chief aerodynamicist, Ron Ayers — worked together on the jet-powered Thrust SSC, which established the current record at 763 mph in 1997.

The completed streamliner spans 13.5 meters (44 feet) in length and weighs 7.5 tons. Jet and rocket motors provide more than 135,000 horsepower, the equivalent to nine times the power output of all the cars in Formula 1 combined. Theoretically, this will be sufficient to accelerate the car from 0 to 1,000 mph in 55 seconds or cover a mile in 3.6 seconds at top speed.

Not surprisingly, such an innovation in land speed relies on its own form of power, computational power. Computational fluid dynamics and vehicle dynamics are vital to the success of the BLOODHOUND project. Read more about that journey here.

The supersonic car will have an initial run in Cornwall next Easter, where the goal is to reach 200 mph. Then the team will next head to South Africa, where they hope to achieve 800 mph, besting the current world land-speed record of 763 mph. A period of data review will follow as the team prepares to return to South Africa in 2017 with the aim of reaching 1,000 mph.

“Public interest in The Project is incredible and thanks to the generous support of our partners we are delighted to able to bring BLOODHOUND SSC to London and put it on show,” shared Project Director Richard Noble. “With the car now built and the track in South Africa prepared our focus is on racing in 2016. That part of the adventure starts with runway tests at Newquay Aerohub next Easter.”

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