1,000 mph car to be built next year

Nov 23, 2010 by Lin Edwards report

(PhysOrg.com) -- The "Bloodhound SSC," a car expected to be able to travel at 1,000 mph (around 1,600 km/h) or faster, is on track to be constructed in the UK early next year. The design was finalized last year, as reported in this PhysOrg article.

Director of the project, Richard Noble, who once held the World Land Speed record, said construction of the full-scale will begin in January, and an attempt on the World Land Speed record will be made in 2012. The aim of the project is to promote science and engineering and to inspire young people. An extensive educational program in about 25,000 schools in the UK has always been part of the vision.

The car body will be made of a thin alloy, and the 90 cm, 97 kg wheels will be made of a solid . Research aimed at selecting the best alloy for the job is continuing, but the choice will be important because the wheels will be rotating faster than any wheel in history, reaching 170 rotations per second (about 10,200 rpm), and stresses at the rim of around 150 megapascals.

The wheels will also be in contact with the lake bed, and so some surface damage is inevitable, but the alloy must not allow cracks in the wheels that could lead to their destruction, especially during the second run in the record attempt. Research on the effects of the impacts of grit on various alloy samples are being carried out at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.

The vehicle will be powered by a Falcon rocket and an EJ200 from a Eurofighter Typhoon military plane. The jet produces nine tons of thrust, while the rocket produces an additional 12 tons of thrust.

EUROJET EJ200. Approximately half the thrust of BLOODHOUND SSC is provided by a EUROJET EJ200, a highly sophisticated military turbofan normally found in the engine bay of a Eurofighter Typhoon.

The World Land attempt will be made at a dry lake bed called the Hakskeen Pan in Northern Cape Province in South Africa. The Bloodhound will need to make two successful runs within an hour over a measured mile in order to break the record. The average of the two runs is the record speed, and not the fastest run. The team plans to swap the rocket motor for a fully primed rocket after the first run, but hopes to avoid needing to change the wheels as well.

The 20 km long, 1.5 km track for the record attempt must be completely clear of all loose stones before the run, as an impact with a 1,000 mph stone could cause catastrophic damage to the wheels or car body. Around 300 local people are already working on sweeping the track clean, and Noble has advertised in the UK for helpers, offering “No wages, constant heat, tough work in beautiful but remote Hakskeen Pan.”

The Cosworth CA2010 F1 race engine alongside the full size BLOODHOUND SSC Show Car at the Bloodhound Technical Centre November 2010

The current record is held by the Thrust SuperSonic Car, which achieved 763 mph (1,228 km/h) in its record attempt in 1997. Three people who worked on Thrust are working on the Bloodhound: Wing Commander Andy Green, who will drive the car, Ron Ayres, the chief aerodynamicist, and Richard Noble, the director.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

The project is well-funded, with Mr Noble saying there are more companies wanting to sponsor the car than they can accept, and even though the venture is private and non-profit, it has also received support from the UK government in the form of two Typhoon jet engines. Other major supporters include aerospace companies Lockheed Martin, Cosworth (manufacturer of the F1 jet engine) and Hampson Industries.

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User comments : 13

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tigger
4 / 5 (4) Nov 23, 2010
444 metres in one second... that is seriously fast for a car O_o

I'm trying to visualise it going past me while I'm standing on the side of the track... wow it's going quickly!
Husky
4 / 5 (4) Nov 23, 2010
gives a whole new meaning to riding shotgun
gopher65
3 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2010
Wow. Nearly half a kilometre per second is impressive for a ground vehicle. And yeah tigger, I'm having trouble visualizing that too. Blink and you miss it, heh.

"Don't even blink!"
wwqq
4 / 5 (4) Nov 23, 2010
Wow. Nearly half a kilometre per second is impressive for a ground vehicle. And yeah tigger, I'm having trouble visualizing that too. Blink and you miss it, heh.


I think I can help provide a bit of context for such speeds:

Thrust SSC: http://www.youtub...-xj5C2m8

Mythbusters trying to "pancake" a car with a 650 MPH rocket sled:
http://www.youtub...U6sbf8Ng

TGV's 2007 rail speed test at 574.8 km/h:
http://www.youtub...8CG2Up-g

Holloman high speed test track. Only a few snippets of footage, but they've achieved 10,430 km/h with an unmanned rocket sled(almost 3 km/s): http://www.youtub...4gxfwlv0

Here's the land speed record for record sled at HHSTT; sadly it is at night: http://www.youtub...X1c9NuU0

retrosurf
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2010
Sonic Boom!
There will be a minimum safe distance.
Commentateur
1 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2010
But does it have all-wheel drive?
flicktheswitch
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2010
If it hits a stone it'll have no-wheel drive.
Ravenrant
4 / 5 (4) Nov 23, 2010
This getting to the point of being meaningless. At those speeds contact with the ground can be almost non-existent and the line between car and plane is a gray area.
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2010
This getting to the point of being meaningless. At those speeds contact with the ground can be almost non-existent and the line between car and plane is a gray area.


It is a plane anyways, since the wheels aren't driving it and it doesn't use the ground for steering or holding it up. If there was any downforce at all, it would bury itself at 1000 MPH, which means that it is just a very low flying plane.

They have to trim it really carefully with those little nose canards, or it would take off.
Magnette
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 30, 2010
This getting to the point of being meaningless. At those speeds contact with the ground can be almost non-existent and the line between car and plane is a gray area.


It is a plane anyways, since the wheels aren't driving it and it doesn't use the ground for steering or holding it up. If there was any downforce at all, it would bury itself at 1000 MPH, which means that it is just a very low flying plane.

They have to trim it really carefully with those little nose canards, or it would take off.


This is my first post here but I had to register to correct you....sorry Eikka but it does steer with its front wheels as opposed to ThrustSSC which steered with the rears.
To qualify for the record it must have a minimum of four wheels, all in constant contact with the ground and be steerable in a 'conventional' manner.
The trim is by the canards which are computer controlled to prevent the car becoming an aircraft or a mining machine.... *cont*
Magnette
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2010
*cont*...
which will only take a fraction of a degree in error for it to all go very wrong.
There is no end of information on their website that can help you with any questions you may have.



Commentateur....it's no-wheel-drive, purely a thrust driven machine. The current world record for a wheel driven machine is 470.444mph.
donjoe0
3 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2010
This is an obscene waste of resources. They should stop this foolishness and work on something more useful, like a 1000 MPG car.
Magnette
5 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2010
This is an obscene waste of resources. They should stop this foolishness and work on something more useful, like a 1000 MPG car.


Why?
It's a brilliant piece of engineering that is being used to roll out an education initiative in the UK. We are running out of engineers here and the project is being used to help reintroduce the STEM subjects back in to the curriculum.

As for a waste of resources...it's a private project that is privately funded but with everything learnt about engineering being completely open and free for anybody to learn from. For instance they have learnt a huge amount about aerodynamics, using CFD's, that can be transfered to normal road going vehicles to improve fuel consumption.
Maybe 1000mpg won't be attainable but anything that helps until there are viable alternatives available can only be good.