Ever thought of a car travelling faster than a bullet? The engineering adventure for the 21st century will soon be a reality.
The British project to develop a 1,000 mph car is on target to meet its goals, said project director Richard Noble.
The bloodhound SuperSonic car (SSC) has been designed to run at speeds up to 1,050 mph (or over 1,600 km), powered by jet and rocket that produce the equivalent of 133,000ehp (or 180 F1 cars). Its top speed of 1,050 mph is faster than a bullet from a .357 Magnum handgun.
The Eurofighter Typhoon jet engine will partner the largest hybrid rocket ever designed in Europe to produce a combined thrust of 212 kN (47,500 lb) – the equivalent to 180 F1 cars.
Two hundred and twenty high-tech engineering companies across the UK are producing key components for the car while chassis construction starts January 2011. Build will take around 12 months to complete prior to runway testing here in the UK.
The car is expected to make its first test run in 2011, with an attempt on the World land speed record expected in 2012.
The car’s race track — Hakskeen Pan — is a dried-up lake bed in Northern Cape Province of South Africa, where the equivalent of 4,800 football pitches will be cleared for the event to begin high speed runs by summer 2012. The track is 20 km long and at its widest is 1,5 km wide.
At 1,000 mph, the car will travel 1,800 metres in 4 seconds.
To break the highest speed record, Bloodhound will have to better the mark set by the Thrust SSC, driven by Andy Green at 763 mph (or 1,228 kmph) in 1997.
We've got companies all over the world wanting to sponsor the car, Noble told BBC News. We've actually got more people who want to financially back this thing than we've got space for them.
Major aerospace firms are involved in the project. Hampson Industries will manufacture the primary rear structure of the supersonic car, while Lockheed Martin is working on its 90cm-wide, 97kg wheels. F1 engine manufacturer Cosworth will supply the auxiliary power unit for bloodhound SSC along with data electronics to gather data which will help to control the car.
The project still has some way to go to meet its funding objectives but Noble said he was now confident it would all come together: It's quite clear it's going to happen now.
The bloodhound SSC’s objective is to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology.