The Bloodhound SSC is expected to reach 14 Mach speed covering a mile in just 36 secondsCourtesy of the Bloodhound Project

The Bloodhound SSC is expected to reach 1.4 Mach speed, covering a mile in just 3.6 seconds.
Courtesy of the Bloodhound Project.

Supersonic Car Sets Sights on Land-Speed Record

Richard Noble’s Bloodhound project announced that its Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) will attempt to break the land-speed record in October 2017, which puts the pressure on its competitors. The record speed is currently held by Andy Greene, who drove the organization’s Thrust2 vehicle at a peak speed of 1019 km/h. Its predecessor, driven by Noble, was the first man-operated land vehicle to break the sound barrier, surpassing 1235.5 km/hour. Britain has held the land-speed record for more than 30 years, and plans to break 1,000 mph, or 1,610 km/h, to reach 1.4 Mach speeds. 

In addition to the prospects of breaking records, the Bloodhound project inspires STEM education about supersonic and F1 vehicles. With over 6,000 schools in the UK that use Bloodhound technical content, the project inspired a range of competitions (including the model rocket car competition) and workshops (like building k’Nex air rocket cars) and is followed in more than 220 countries. Bloodhoundblast.com  offers free lesson plans and 10,000 learning resources to students around the world, delivering learning tools on topics ranging from aerodynamics to drag and kinetic physics. 

Bloodhound will meet land-speed record regulations set by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). Andy Greene will once again take the wheel, with the event taking place in the Hakskeepnan desert in South Africa. Rocks have already been cleared from the track to ensure that the vehicle can reach optimum speeds.

Before attempting to break the record in October, Bluehound will travel under its own power in a slow-speed shakedown test in June 2017. It will reach speeds as high as 98 meters/s, or 800 miles per hour. 

The Turnaround Challenge

One huge hurdle for Bloodhound must overcome to meet FIA regulations is the vehicle’s ability to turn around and come back in the other direction after rolling to a complete stop. The requirement, which went into effect in 1914, states that the vehicle should complete the round trip in a single hour. This will require fast action from the Bloodhound team to refuel the vehicle, replace “burnt-out” parts, and perform necessary servicing.

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