Bloodhound SSC - Land Speed Record Machine
The BLOODHOUND Project is a global Engineering Adventure, using a 1000 mph World Land Speed Record attempt to inspire the next generation about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
BLOODHOUND SSC is a jet and rocket powered car designed to go at 1,000 mph (just over 1,600 kph). It has a slender body of approximately 14m length with two front wheels within the body and two rear wheels mounted externally within wheel fairings. It weighs over 7 tonnes and the engines (eurofighter typhoon + hybrid rocket) produce more than 135,000 horsepower - more than 6 times the power of all the Formula 1 cars on a starting grid put together!
A new promotional video for the Bloodhound SSC land speed record project, with soundtrack by Elbow
Curventa - product sponsor
Richard Noble and Curventa met in 2007 at the very start of the project. We sat down with Ron Ayres and created some early 3D CAD models of the car which were then turned into Photorealistic images to use to gain sponsorship deals and partnerships. These images were created for the 2008 launch at the Science Museum in London and instantly went global with a years internet traffic hitting our web servers in a day !
Some 250 companies from around the world have now contributed to the Bloodhound project.
The team with a proven track record
The core team are the same men who cracked the sound barrier in 1997 with Thrust SSC at the Black Rock desert in Nevada which at 763.035 mph broke the sound barrier and which still stands today.
Richard Noble, OBE (born 6 March 1946) is a Scottish entrepreneur who was holder of the land speed record between 1983 and 1997. He was also the project director of ThrustSSC, and is the driving force behind Bloodhound programme.
Born in London, England in 1932, Ayers obtained a BSc in aeronautical engineering from the University of London and an MSc in aerodynamics from Cranfield University before starting his working career as an apprentice at Handley Page Ltd. After that he was employed by the British Aircraft Corporation in their Guided Weapons Division, initially as Chief Aerodynamicist and then later Head of Operational Research and Deputy Head of Management Services. Much of his time at BAC was devoted to the development of the Bloodhound surface-to-air missile.
Andy is a fighter pilot on F-4 Phantom and Tornado F3 aircraft. In 2003 Green was promoted to Wing Commander. He later became Officer Commanding Operations Wing at RAF Wittering near Peterborough. Green is also the captain of the RAF team at the Cresta Run, where he uses an experimental French toboggan !
Thrust SSC holds the World Land Speed Record, set on 15 October 1997, when it achieved a speed of 1,228 km/h (763 mph) and became the first car to officially break the sound barrier. It was powered by two afterburning Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines, as used in the British version of theF-4 Phantom II jet fighter. The car was 16.5 m (54 ft) long, 3.7 m (12 ft) wide and weighed 10.5 tons (10.7 t), and the twin engines developed a net thrust of 223 kN (50,000 lbf), a power output of 110,000 bhp (82MW), burning around 18 litres per second (4.0 Imperial gallons/s or 4.8 US gallons/s)
Making the Bloodhound
Bloodhound is being constructed at it's technical centre in Bristol, where a dedicated team of engineers, technicians, mechanics and aerodynamicists have been working tirelessly on the £41m car.
Approximately half the thrust of BLOODHOUND SSC is provided by a EUROJET EJ200, a highly sophisticated military turbofan normally found in the engine bay of a Eurofighter Typhoon.
In order to accelerate the car to 1000mph, the Nammo hybrid rocket will provide a thrust of 123.75kN (27,500lbf). This will be combined with the thrust from the EJ200 jet to generate about 212kN (47,700lbf) - that's eight times more power than all the cars on a Formula 1 starting grid combined.
The lower section consists of a series of aluminium frames and bulkheads that are skinned in steel. The lower structure mounts the auxiliary power unit, the jet fuel tank and the rocket system. The last portion of the lower structure forms the rear subframe and it is on this that the rear suspension mounts, together with the rocket thrust ring and the parachute cans and attachment.
The car is of hybrid construction with the forward half of the car carbon fibre and the rear section a metallic fabrication. The front section of the car consists of a carbon fibre monocoque, similar in concept to a Formula 1 tub. This provides the driver with a very secure, rigid safety cell. It is also the most efficient way to form the complex curvature at the front of the car ahead of the cockpit and main jet intake.
When is this going to happen ?
Bloodhound will start “low speed” testing in Newquay, Cornwall, in August next year, where the car will be pushed to around 200mph.
It will then be taken to a perfectly flat dried-out lake in Hakskeen Pan, Northern Cape, South Africa for “high speed” tests, where the team hope to beat the current world land speed record of 763mph, which is held by Thrust SSC, a British car developed by Richard Noble and driven Wg Cdr Green.
The 1,000mph attempt will be made the following year at the same location after being brought back to the UK for further work.
The 1000mph office
So much of Bloodhound’s technology is based on aeronautic engineering, and Wg Cdr Green’s experience as an RAF pilot, coupled with his unshakable nerve, is essential to the project. Asked when the fear factor kicks in, he said: “I’m not sure why it should. I’m used to flying jet fighters, so the idea of going supersonic in a vehicle with this sort of performance, I’m used to that already. “I think I should be feeling confident. Do I fear for my life? No."
Inspiring a new generation
Back in 2007 Andy Green and Richrad Noble found ourselves in front of Paul Drayson, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support. With the late Steve Fossett planning an 800 mph attempt on the ThrustSSC record, now was the time to plan ahead. Paul made it quite clear that there was a great opportunity not to be missed. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) - indeed, the entire country - was short of engineers, and he believed that the way forward was to generate a new iconic project which would inspire the school population - he even defined the age range: 5-19.
He related this to the great British aerospace achievements of the past: Concorde, the Vulcan, the Lightning, the Fairey Delta 2, even the Schneider Trophy racers - and made the point that in those times there was seldom a shortage of engineers. Once the Government had turned off the inspiration tap, school leavers started to look elsewhere for their careers.
"It took time to dawn on us, but suddenly the BLOODHOUND SSC project took on a life of its own."
Enjoy a guided tour & full briefing
Evening and weekend events are available for groups of up to 50 people, children are of course welcome.
For a donation of £500, your group will receive; a tailored presentation in the BLOODHOUND Boardroom and a workshop tour to see the build of the world's first 1,000 mph car progressing. There will with ample of time for questions and photographs. Visitors will also have the chance to test their skills in the BLOODHOUND driving experience and purchase merchandise during the event.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and book your visit.