THE QUEST FOR 1,000 MPH
Nammo hybrid rocket provides the rest.
Originally, only rocket power was
envisioned, but it was eventually decided
that using a jet engine would allow for
better overall control of Bloodhound SSC.
During the initial 800mph attempt, a
single hybrid rocket will use what is called
a “cold configuration,” which purely
requires the decomposition of high-test
peroxide. That thrust will provide the
kickstart needed for the jet engine to take
up the balance of the workload to reach
the initial target speed.
Assuming the 800mph runs go to plan,
the team will regroup and study the data
to make any necessary design changes,
before returning for the 1,000mph attempt
in late 2018. For those runs, three
Nammo hybrid rockets will be deployed.
Presently, Bloodhound SSC is 95 percent
dry built, meaning that the parts have all
been manufactured. Final assembly is
getting under way, followed by a battery of
systems checks, before transport to South
Africa in around a year from now.
Hakskeen Pan has also been undergoing
final preparations for the run, including the
removal and repositioning of a road that
would have crossed the course.
While the Bloodhound SSC is well on its
way, Noble says much remains to be done.
Support from the British government has
made a tremendous difference, and a new
major corporate sponsor will be announced
this fall. The budget for Thrust SSC was a
paltry $5 million, whereas Bloodhound SSC
will be in the order of $65 million.
A key point of the project critical in
generating government support is
spawning interest among school-age kids in
math, science, technology and engineering
– the STEM subjects. Fifty years ago, the
mission to put a man on the moon inspired
a generation, and today Noble believes that
Bloodhound SSC can do the same.
What’s certain is that going Mach 1.4
without leaving the ground will require
a phenomenal amount of number
crunching. But, ultimately, there’s only
one number that matters: 1,000.
To set a land speed record, a vehicle’s
sustained speed over one mile is
measured for two runs in opposite
directions, then averaged. The runs
must take place within an hour of
each other. During Bloodhound SSC’s
1,000mph runs, Andy Green will cover
the mile in 3.43sec. So how does that
compare in a race over the mile with
these best-in-class performers?
• Boeing 747 with a top cruising
speed of 570mph: 6.32sec (+ 2.89sec)
• Audi R18 e-tron quattro (BELOW)
which set the fastest peak speed of
213.38mph on the Mulsanne Straight
at the most recent 24 Hours of
Le Mans: 16.87sec (+ 13.44sec)
WANT TO RACE?
• Team GB Olympic Track Cycling men’s
4,000-meter team pursuit squad with
a World Record time of 3m50.265s
for an average speed of 62. 54 kmh
( 38.86mph): 92.64sec (+ 89.21sec)
If that doesn’t put into perspective
how crazy-fast Bloodhound SSC will
be on a record-setting run, try these:
Bloodhound SSC will travel 150
meters (164 yards) in the blink of an
eye (as in, a third of a second); it’s
faster than a bullet fired from a
Magnum .357, and it will cover its
own length in just 0.03sec.
The man at the
helm of the
project is well
setting land speed
records. In 1983,
driving Thrust2, he
pushed the record