Bloodhound SSC Prepares for Land Speed Record
Above Photo: Original from News and Events Media Library Flock and Siemens are credited as originators
On the 28th of September 2017, a car that will be capable of reaching 1,000mph (1,160km/h) had its EJ200 jet engine fired up for the first time. Bloodhound SSC is the car that has been developed by a British team, The Bloodhound Project, and it will begin its assault on the world land speed record, which currently stands at 763mph (1,228km/h).
The team carrying out the tests said that it was “completely unexpected” the Bloodhound reached full power, as the static tie-down test that was carried out was designed to “characterise” the jet intake. “Characterising” in this case means how much the jet engine would be limited when the car is stationary or travelling very slowly. This is because as anything less than 100mph (very slow for the Bloodhound!) will mean there is not enough air feeding into the jet engine as it would like. Consequently the estimate was that the jet would be power limited at slow speeds. The intake on the Bloodhound is designed to provide the right amount of air at 850mph.
Luckily, during the testing of the Bloodhound the engine managed to get to full dry power (full engine rpm) without any issues, hence dismissing any issues or concerns that were evident in the build up to the testing about the power limits. The team were so concerned they even built the air intake with the option to fit “auxiliary intakes” if necessary; additional air intakes to increase air flow through the engine.
During testing of Bloodhound, 10-tonne-rated steel tie-down cables were required to keep the EJ200 engine in place. In reality, Bloodhound SSC will be powered by 3 engines; 2 of the Eurojet EJ200 engines will provide the thrust, while the 3rd, a Jaguar Supercharged V8 engine, will act as a power unit to drive the rocket oxidiser pump. At full power Bloodhound SSC will have 135,000 thrust horsepower, 8 times the power of F1 cars.
For the actual land speed record, Bloodhound SSC will be running on Hakskeen Pan in Northern Cape, South Africa, in 2019. This was also the very site of Malcom Campbell’s 1929 record attempt track, where he managed to reach a speed of 146.16mph (235.22km/h). Campbell’s track was 120ft wide; however Bloodhound needs an area 40 times larger of 18km which is 1500m wide to be prepared.
Hakskeen Pan had a new tarmac road built across it in 2016, leaving a large dirt road derelict. The Bloodhound Project was able to repair this road surface, which is ideal due to it being very wide and flat, meaning the Bloodhound was able to run on it. This location also has good access, due to the new tarmac road that was built near it, nearby accommodation for the team, good communications and ideal weather. In addition, the Bloodhound Project have got full backing of the Provincial Government, who want to be a part of this project.
So now all the testing is well underway for Bloodhound to run, and the stage of the location has been set for the most sophisticated Land Speed Record car ever made, the wait till 2019 begins, where hopefully the world’s first 1000mph car is born.