A supersonic car built with the help of Rolls-Royce is being tested for the first time today ahead of a 1,000mph world land speed record attempt.
The Bloodhound was due to take to the 1.7-mile runway at Cornwall Airport at 1.15pm to complete what has been described as “low speed” tests.
The trials are the culmination of months of tests to prove the Bloodhound’s systems – including a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet sourced from a Eurofighter Typhoon.
Rolls-Royce is a major backer of the Bloodhound project and, as well as supplying an engine built at its defence aerospace site, in Filton, Bristol, the project has been using the firm’s facilities in Derby to test parts.
For example, Bloodhound’s engineering team have used Rolls-Royce’s engine testing facility at its civil aerospace division in Sinfin to test the wheels of the car.
Rolls-Royce is a major backer of the Bloodhound project (Image: Dan Regan)
Known as a “spin test”, the car’s solid aluminium wheels were spun at 1,000 mph, turning at 170 times per second.
And, in the past, lightweight composites parts designed and made in Heanor by Umeco (now Cytec Solvay) have been supplied for the car.
The tests near Newquay are a prelude to Bloodhound attempting to break the world land speed record.
The current land speed record, set in 1997, currently stands at 763mph. But the Bloodhound team is hoping to knock this out of the park.
The Bloodhound will make its land speed record attempt next year
When it heads to a desert venue in South Africa for the record attempt next year, it is hoped that the Bloodhound will reach 1,000 mph – covering a mile in just 3.6 seconds at full speed.
For the 1,000mph runs, Bloodhound will be fitted with three hybrid rockets which, when combined with the EJ200 engine, will produce 135,000 horsepower.
The jet provided by Rolls-Royce will raise Bloodhound’s speed to about 350mph. It will then ignite a rocket motor supplied by a Norway company to take it supersonic.
The man who will be tasked with reaching these extraordinary speeds is Wing Commander Andy Green, the current land speed record-holder. Twenty years ago, he set the current world supersonic record of 763mph in the Thrust SSC.
Wing Commander Andy Green will be aiming to break his own record in Bloodhound
The Bloodhound project is the result of more than eight years of research, design and manufacturing.
Today’s test is an invitation-only VIP event. Members of the public will get their chance to see the Bloodhound in action on Saturday.
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According to Richard Noble, project director at Bloodhound SSC, the trials in Cornwall are a key moment for the project.
He said: “The runway trials at Cornwall Airport are the project’s biggest milestone so far.
“They will provide important data on the performance of the car and give us a first opportunity to rehearse the procedures we’ll use when we go record breaking.”
Source: Derby Telegraph