Bloodhound passes 500mph milestone as it chases 1,000mph record

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

The project almost collapsed last year when it was put on hold while seeking new investors after the team ran out of funds. It was engineering millionaire Ian Warhurst who rescued the Bloodhound with a seven-figure investment, reports Autocar.

Past troubles were forgotten this week as RAF Wing Commander Andy Green reached 501mph on the 12.4-mile Hakskeen Pan track. The test didn’t run completely smoothly: a fire warning alert sounded during the engine shutdown procedure, but it was a false alarm caused by the 36-degree temperature and heat from the engine.

The Bloodhound team hopes to break the current land speed record of 763mph, which was set by Green back in 1997, and eventually reach that ambitious 1,000mph target. It's aiming to hit 550mph in the next few days.

The car features the same Rolls-Royce EJ200 gas turbine engine used by the Eurofighter Typhoon plane, which gets it to 600mph. A number of hybrid rockets that come from Nammo, a Scandinavian defense contractor, will be used to go even faster.

The latest test saw the car use solid aluminum wheels for the first time, which handle the extreme speeds better than rubber tires. But there are plenty of challenges when driving at 200mph and above, including a lack of grip and being able to stop before running out of track.

“We’ll be testing a two-parachute braking system, and of course we have friction brakes that work best below about 200mph. On top of that, we’ll do handling tests and investigate stability changes. And we have to see how well the team can perform under pressure in heat that might hit 40deg C," said Engineering Director Mark Chapman.

The team will attempt to break the current record next year—no word on when it might try for that 1,000mph target.

Permalink to story.

 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
With the sound barrier being 767 mph I can't help but wonder if they were able or did any modeling of what will happen when the car approaches and passes that barrier. For aircraft it was a particularly bumpy ride and with this vehicle depending upon wheels, I would think the chances of disaster would be elevated considerably. Obviously, at that speed, no form of ejection system ...... could be a bit dicey .....
 
  • Like
Reactions: magdziam

Vulcanproject

TS Evangelist
With the sound barrier being 767 mph I can't help but wonder if they were able or did any modeling of what will happen when the car approaches and passes that barrier. For aircraft it was a particularly bumpy ride and with this vehicle depending upon wheels, I would think the chances of disaster would be elevated considerably. Obviously, at that speed, no form of ejection system ...... could be a bit dicey .....
Some of the team has experience from the Thrust SSC project. That is the current record holder and only car to break the sound barrier before. Indeed even the pilot is the same as that project from 1997. I saw that car only a few months after it broke the record at an air show, it now resides in a museum in the UK.

Nobody thinks this is an easy thing to do but you would hope that in the time that has passed there is even better computer modeling for one thing. The car is ground up designed to break through the sound barrier and go well beyond. They won't even attempt that for another 12 months though, because they need the rocket motor to punch it through and beyond.
 

MechEng

TS Rookie
Hi Rob, could you edit your article, in order to provide the following correct information.

The current high speed testing phase (during November 2019) is to gain sufficient technical data to test systems and aerodynamics of the car.
The actual Land speed record attempt is going to be made sometime in 2020.

The EJ200 jet engine is actually good enough and rated to take the car up to around 600mph on its own.

In order to go faster than that, a rocket (solid propellant) will be needed to provide the significant additional thrust. Nammo are currently testing this and is cutting edge in its design. Remember, for a land speed record. the car has to break the record, come to a dead stop, turn around and come back again. the record is then the average of the 2 runs.

One of the comments on here is, why is this important? it's massively important as its opening up significant advances in computational aerodynamics and modelling which has a trickle down effect into everyday life in terms of cars, aircraft, technology and sensors that eventually would be incorporated into everyday life.
It also significantly showcases engineering talent and expertise that is available within the country and also the engineering expertise in manufacturing items such as the electronics, wheels, rocket motors and many other unique and highly specialist parts.
 

MechEng

TS Rookie
Some of the team has experience from the Thrust SSC project. That is the current record holder and only car to break the sound barrier before. Indeed even the pilot is the same as that project from 1997. I saw that car only a few months after it broke the record at an air show, it now resides in a museum in the UK.

Nobody thinks this is an easy thing to do but you would hope that in the time that has passed there is even better computer modeling for one thing. The car is ground up designed to break through the sound barrier and go well beyond. They won't even attempt that for another 12 months though, because they need the rocket motor to punch it through and beyond.
Thrust SSC can now be found in the Coventry motor museum in the UK. well worth a visit. the car is massive!
 

hahahanoobs

TS Evangelist
One of the comments on here is, why is this important? it's massively important as its opening up significant advances in computational aerodynamics and modelling which has a trickle down effect into everyday life in terms of cars, aircraft, technology and sensors that eventually would be incorporated into everyday life.
It also significantly showcases engineering talent and expertise that is available within the country and also the engineering expertise in manufacturing items such as the electronics, wheels, rocket motors and many other unique and highly specialist parts.
The source link seemed to be more proud about the educational aspects for the students, so the $33M in additional funding threw me off for something that almost had to be scrapped.
 

jobeard

TS Ambassador
See theWiKi on Land Speed Record

Date: October 15, 1997
Location: United States Black Rock Desert, United States
Driver: United Kingdom Andy Green
Vechile: ThrustSSC
Power: Turbofan: 2 x Rolls-Royce Spey
MPH: 760.343
KM/H: 1223.657


First to break the speed of sound

Notable to me is the low profile of the vehicles making this attempt. NONE had a large vertical stabilizer as show in the Bloodhound.
 
Last edited:

Vulcanproject

TS Evangelist
See theWiKi on Land Speed Record

Date: October 15, 1997
Location: United States Black Rock Desert, United States
Driver: United Kingdom Andy Green
Vechile: ThrustSSC
Power: Turbofan: 2 x Rolls-Royce Spey
MPH: 760.343
KM/H: 1223.657


First to break the speed of sound

Notable to me is the low profile of the vehicles making this attempt. NONE had a large vertical stabilizer as show in the Bloodhound.
The aerodynamics, centre of weight and centre of pressure on this thing have been refined endlessly in the wind tunnel and on computers.

Bloodhound is quite different to Thrust SSC because rather than relying on a pair of side mounted engines it has stacked a single engine on top of a rocket motor. This means that the weight and centre of pressure is much further to the rear of the machine.

So they decided they needed a much larger rear stabilizer than they first tested.

A Koeniggsegg One:1 has a 1 megawatt output. Bloodhound has 100 megawatts but only weighs 5 times more. The thrust to weight of it is ridiculous because it has to be in contact with the ground and punch through thick atmosphere at low elevation.

Whereas a supersonic aircraft obviously has no such limitations. It's a huge task, many jet fighters won't or can't safely do much above Mach 1 at such low altitude.
 

OortCloud

TS Maniac
Amazing machine, nice to see there is still some ambition in the world and not all our money is being spent on out of town shopping centres, palm shaped holiday resorts and walls.
 

jobeard

TS Ambassador
The aerodynamics, centre of weight and centre of pressure on this thing have been refined endlessly in the wind tunnel and on computers.

Bloodhound is quite different to Thrust SSC because rather than relying on a pair of side mounted engines it has stacked a single engine on top of a rocket motor. This means that the weight and centre of pressure is much further to the rear of the machine.
Hmmm; so pushing a straw at Mach 1 is preferred to pulling it 😁

My point was that the taller the object will be effected by buffeting far more than a lower one.

Glad it's not my money they are playing with.