BLOODHOUND SSC Design Finalised

The Bloodhound SSC attempt to break the land speed record has reached a new stage, as the team announced the final design of the car. The project has gone through ten design evolutions since it started. At first, they planned to position a small 200kg rocket above the heavier 1,000 kg EJ200 Eurofighter Typhoon jet engine and the car was designed accordingly.

You might not believe this, but the problem with this design was the lack of thrust. They just needed more to overcome the aerodynamic drag. So the team went for a hybrid rocket weighing 400kg. A new problem occurred, as the extra thrust of the rocket firing would violently push the car nose-down, destabilising the whole vehicle. Therefore the engineering team was forced into a re-design. So in the final stage, the jet engine was repositioned over the rocket.

The rocket weighs 400kg and measures 45 cm in diameter and 4.25 m in length. The rocket is designed to produce 27,500 lbs of thrust. Together with 20,000 lbs from the EJ200 jet engine, this will give the car the equivalent of 135,000hp. Lockheed Martin UK has been developing some amazing wheels for this amazing project: they can withstand forces of 50,000 radial g at the rim and support a 6.5 tonne car travelling at 1,050 mph.

The UK team announced that their run will take place in the Hakskeen Pan desert, in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, where the regional government has promised to clear a 12 mile track. The current record holder is the ThrustSSC, a twin turbofan-powered car which achieved 763 miles per hour (1,228 km/h) for the mile (1.6 km), breaking the sound barrier in the Black Rock Desert, USA, back in 1997.
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