What could become the world’s fastest land vehicle was unveiled yesterday at London’s Canary Wharf, as the covers were officially lifted off the Bloodhound supersonic car.
A project almost seven years in the making, the Bloodhound will attempt to break the world land speed record next year, right here in South Africa, when it takes to Hakskeenpan in the Northern Cape in October 2016.
Visitors to London’s Canary Wharf will be able to see the car in its record attempt configuration, with its 2m high tail fin – required for stability at high speed – in place for the first time.
“Carbon fibre panels have been partially removed on one side in order to show the technology inside the car, including the Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine and supercharged Jaguar V8 engine used to pump oxidizer into the Nammo rocket,” the team explained on the official website.
Those same engines produce around 135 000 horsepower of thrust, which will be enough to propel the car to a dizzying speed of 1 287km/h for the first test run in October. The actual record attempt will be made in 2017, again in South Africa, but then the car will be pushed to its maximum speed of about 1 000mph – or around 1 610km/h if you use a modern system of measurement.
To put this into context, the current land speed record-holder is the Thrust SSC, which reached a speed of 763mph – 1 228km/h – back in 1997.
The Bloodhound “…has not been designed ‘simply’ to reach 1 000mph; it must do so safely. That is why the car has three separate braking systems, seven fire extinguishers and 500 sensors, twice as many as a Formula One car, so engineers will know exactly how it is performing during each high speed run,” the team concluded.
We wish the team all the best; land speed records are dangerous undertakings that can go wrong quite easily.
[Source – Bloodhound SSC Website]