Laudable ambition

Written by: Paul Fanning | Published:

A sense of sad inevitability greeted the announcement on December 7 that the Bloodhound Project, which started life 10 years ago, had finally been axed.

The reasons for this are many and have been covered before, but first and foremost the fact that it fell short of the level of funding necessary to achieve its goal of a 1,000mph landspeed record by £25 million. The car is now available to buy for around £250,000 to any private investor who wishes to take it on.

Eureka! has followed the Bloodhound story pretty much since the beginning. Indeed, I was writing about its predecessor, the successful ThrustSSC project back in the late 1990s. Given which, the temptation is to succumb to melancholy that the project couldn’t get over the finish line.

However, the fact that their reach sometimes exceeds their grasp is what makes engineers great. The technological and financial demands of a project like Bloodhound were always going to prove difficult to meet, but that does not mean that trying was a mistake. It may be a sad day when such ambitious ventures fail, but it would be an even sadder one were they never to be attempted in the first place.

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