BLOODHOUND SSC: New 1000 mph supersonic vehicle unveiled

VIJAY SHAH via Business Insider

A new supersonic car was recently unveiled in the United Kingdom and could well shatter the record of the fastest speed of any land vehicle when it goes live in 2017. The Bloodhound SSC, developed by a team in Bristol, west England is the result of ten years of preparation, reports the Business Insider who gained exclusive access to the supercar yesterday.

The fighter-jet like vehicle, built with the latest technology and highly dynamic with an elongated ‘nose’ and fins that look as if though they were borrowed from a Concorde, is expected to beat the previous record enacted by a land-based vehicle, when a Thrust SSC driven by British air force Wing Commander Andy Green achieved a “flying mile” speed of 763mph (1,227kph). The Bloodhound, with its distinctive dark blue and orange livery emblazoned with sponsors’ logos, is expected to leave the Thrust far behind in a cloud of dust with a claimed top speed of 1,000 mph, the creators claim.

The team behind Bloodhound used complicated computational analysis, 3D printing and state-of-the-art technology to put together and formulate the top speeds for this amazing vehicle. They told Business Insider that their ambition was not just to break a land speed record that has been in place for nearly two decades, but to also inspire British youth to take up sciences in education and to inspire the next generation of automotive engineers and designers. Their special and cutting edge designs and concepts are being made available across the globe.

The 1000mph Land speed record project
The 1000mph Land speed record project (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Bloodhound, which is sponsored by several leading automotive companies such as Jaguar, Rolls-Royce and Castrol, received input and funding from the UK armed forces, the Bristol campus of the University of West England, EPRSC and Swansea University.

The Business Insider journalist described it as being reminiscent of a fighter jet, apart from the lack of wings and the addition of four large metal wheels at each corner of the Bloodhound. At full speed, the SSC will be faster than the bullet fired from a Magnum 357 pistol and will experience over 17 tonnes of drag when it arrives at its 1,000 mph top speed, the equivalent of a humpback whale being perched on its front.

The man behind the wheels of the original target setter, WC Andy Green, will reprise his role as record-breaker and driver. In fact the Bloodhound has been specifically tailor made for his comfort and size, even down to the placement of the buttons on the steering wheel. Despite this, the ‘cockpit’ is barely enough room, with Green being squeezed into a small black textured seat with a silver steering apparatus and a plane like control panel with flat screens to his right and front. The size of the cockpit had to be made so cosy in order not to impede the aerodynamics of the SSC and every available space around the vehicle’s frame has been designed to pack in its internal workings.

The SSC also has some very impressive dimensions. The vehicle measure 13 metres (42 feet) in length, its height is 3 metres (10 feet) from its base to the top of its fin and weighs 7.7 tonnes (17,000 lbs) once its fuel tank is stocked up. The car comes fitted with several engines, including ones more commonly associated with high-velocity military fighter jets such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, as well as a retinue of rockets necessary to give a boost to the Bloodhound’s propulsion. Its main jet engine comes courtesy of the UK’s Ministry of Defence and is a EJ200 model built by luxury car manufacturer Rolls-Royce. It is capable of 135,000 horsepower when combined with the rockets. The demands placed upon the car when it reaches top speed means that it has massive air intake, its design makes it capable of ingesting the air equivalent of a average sized house every three seconds. If the Bloodhound was to suddenly launch itself into the air it would easily reach an altitude of over 25,000 feet (4.7 miles) with the fuel and rockets alone. At full speed, each wheel experiences 50,000g of centrifugal force. This is the equivalent of a sugar cube weighing the same as two adult men.

Much of the Bloodhound’s body is made from carbon fibre, a heat resistant and durable material often used for the bodywork of Formula 1 cars. The team could only use the fibre material as anything else would disintegrate at such high speeds, potentially causing a fatal and destructive 1,000 mph crash. The individual components are all handmade and the vehicle cost around £15 million to conceptualise and produce.

The initial Bloodhound run is scheduled to take place in South Africa next year which will see the car being tested out at 800 mph to see if everything works according to plan, and the designers are confident that the Bloodhound SSC will make its place in the history books.

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“We visited the British rocket car that will attempt to set a 1,000 mph land speed record” – Max Slater-Robins, Business Insider UK – Tech/Business Insider Inc. (25 September 2015)
“File:Bloodhound 1000mph Land speed record project (3).jpg” – Tony Hisgett, Wikimedia Commons (12 June 2011) 


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