Bloodhound SSC: supersonic vehicle gears up for first public test

Bloodhound SSC with Wing Commander Andy Green in the driving seat. Pic Bloodhound SSC

Bloodhound SSC with Wing Commander Andy Green in the driving seat. Pic Bloodhound SSC

"We came to show the world Bloodhound is go", says Bloodhound supersonic vehicle (SCC) driver Andy Green.

The test run in Newquay will not feature these hybrid rockets (they're still being finished in Norway), but instead will be a preliminary test of the car's jet engine and its state-of-the-art computer systems.

The British supersonic Bloodhound auto, combining the technology of a fighter jet, spacecraft and F1 vehicle, is set to make its first public runs in Cornwall later.

Green was the man who literally drove through the sound barrier into the record books 20 years ago while at the wheel of Bloodhound's predecessor, Thrust SSC. The two runs, each of which will saw the auto accelerate from zero to 200mph in just 1300 metres, have been used to evaluate the car's steering, brakes, suspension and data systems, while also measuring the efficiency of the air intake that feeds the EJ200 jet engine, sourced from a Eurofighter Typhoon.

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That is more than six times the power of all the Formula 1 cars on a starting grid put together.

The ultimate aim of Bloodhound SSC is to not only break that record but reach a knuckle-whitening 1000mph in the South Africa desert.

The test runs took place at Newquay Airport in Cornwall, southwest England.

There is no scope to increase speeds significantly in the United Kingdom as there is no runway long enough or tyres available to withstand the loads generated by Bloodhound SSC beyond 250 miles per hour.

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The exact speed Bloodhound achieves at Newquay will depend on its ability to stop, says Chapman.

The Hartlepool-born fighter pilot will be behind the wheel of supersonic vehicle Bloodhound as it makes its debut test run.

At that speed, said Chapman, a 1kg bag of sugar would weigh 50 tonnes.

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