Bloodhound supersonic record attempt set for 20th anniversary of ThrustSSC

The team behind the Bloodhound Supersonic Car has announced that the target date for its bid to break the world land-speed record will be 15th October 2017. This date coincides with the 20-year anniversary of Wing Commander Andy Green becoming the first person to break the sound barrier on land, reaching 763.035mph in ThrustSSC at Black Rock Desert, Nevada. Green will also be piloting the Bloodhound SSC and plans to reach speeds of over 1000mph.

The recent signing of major deals means The Bloodhound Project now has sufficient funding pledged to complete the car and start the countdown to high-speed testing at the Hakskeen Pan, South Africa, in Autumn next year.

Project director Richard Noble said, “This is probably the biggest moment in the Project’s history.Before we could only see financially a few months ahead but now we can put our foot down and really go for it.”

Before going to South Africa, the car will be tested in June 2017 at the Newquay Aerohub in Cornwall where it will travel under its own power for the first time, in a slow speed (220mph) shakedown test. This will also be an opportunity for the team to practice live-streaming data and imagery from the car.

By this time the team’s Rapid Response and Turnaround Crews will have done extensive training ready to support high speed running in South Africa.This will include rehearsing ‘the pit stop from hell’: an intense 40-minute period between timed runs during which time the car will be checked, refuelled and made ready for the return leg. This ‘race within a race’ is crucial to setting a record: in 1997 a delay of just a few seconds cost the team the top prize during an early record attempt.

Noble said: “Bloodhound is now in Race Preparation which means the pace and the pressure will ramp up but so too will the sense of satisfaction as we head towards our Car breaking the sound barrier for the first time, with the world watching.”

With the Shakedown Test successfully completed, Bloodhound SSC will be airlifted to Upington, South Africa, then transported by road to the team’s base at Hakskeen Pan in the Kalahari Desert. The track being used for the record attempt is 12 miles long and 2 miles wide, and a team of 317 members of the local community were employed to clear 16,000 tonnes of stone to create it.

Jon Hilton, president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers – one of the sponsors of the Bloodhound Project, said: “Bloodhound SSC is one of the most exciting and ground-breaking projects happening in UK and the Institution is delighted to be able to support it.

“The UK is facing an engineering skills shortage and we need projects like Bloodhound SSC to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists about Science Technology Engineering and Maths subjects.”

The Bloodhound Project aims to deliver a Bloodhound lesson to 2.5million schoolchildren by 2018. So far, 8000 schools have engaged in the BLOODHOUND BLAST Channel to access free education resources, including 1278 in South Africa. According to its survey, 65% of students engaged by Bloodhound would now consider engineering or science as a vocation.