It has been 20 years since former Royal Airforce pilot Andy Green set a new World Land Speed Record in the Thrust SSC. That record speed of 763.035mph (1277.98kph) set at the Black Rock Desert, Nevada (US) on 15 October 1997 has remains unchallenged – but now, the Bristol-based Bloodhound supersonic car project has secured new funding to allow engineering work to recommence and it is going to attempt to break that record – and by some way. It wants to hit 800mph (1,287kph).
The first runs will take place next October in Hakskeen Pan in the heart of the Kalahari desert, South Africa for the record attempt. The team will be led by Richard Noble and Green will be doing the driving, 20 years after becoming the first and only man to break the sound barrier.
The 13,500mm long Bloodhound, which has more than 3,500 bespoke components and a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine (sourced from an RAF Eurofighter Typhoon) a cluster of Nammo hybrid rockets and a supercharged Jaguar 5.0-litre V8 which combined make a whopping 135,000bhp will be flown via a Boeing 747 to South Africa for the run. But before that, the team will begin practice sessions on it at Newquay Airport in Cornwall in June 2017 (on limited power and reaching speeds of er, just 354kph…) until they can literally refuel and get it ready in minutes.
They’ll have a 16 containers loaded with all sorts of equipment some of which includes a state-of-the-art workshop and a TV studio to help them in their bid to break the record. As you can imagine, this a big and complex operation and though their ultimate goal is to reach 1000mph (1,609kph), getting to 800mph first will be hard enough. How does it stop we hear you cry? It has a supersonic parachute which also acts as a back-up if the main airbrake fails which slows it down to 402kph and then, Green will use his wheel brakes to bring the beast to a stop.