The Bloodhound is still in test phase but is already one of only eight vehicles to have gone over 600 mp/h (Approx. 1,000 km/h). It reached 628 mp/h (1,011 km/h) in November 2019.
Initially named the Bloodhound SSC, the project went bankrupt in 2018. Enter Ian Warhurst! He bought the car, reignited the sponsorship drive, and got the wheels turning again. The project was renamed Bloodhound LSR (Land Speed Record) and is still expected to chase the lucrative 1,000 mp/h mark.
The enormous vehicle is arrow-shaped and powered by both a jet engine and a rocket engine… and a supercharged Jaguar V8 just to pump the fuel. The Bloodhound was due to be tested on our very own Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape, South Africa before the project ran into trouble – it eventually made it here in October 2019 and achieved its highest speed to date, 628 mp/h, here in November 2019. At top speed the vehicle is producing 2.5g – making the driver feel two-and-some times heavier than usual body weight. The team is still a ways from the 760 mp/h set by the ThrustSCC in 1997 but testing is looking promising.
Computational Fluid Dynamics have been used by Prof. Ken Morgan and his team at Berkley to properly understand the aerodynamic impact of the shape and used to predict drag forces as well as pitch and yaw (side-to-side and vertical rotation).
The power comes from one Rolls-Royce EJ200 (jet engine) that will provide around 60% of the push with a specifically made rocket designed by Nammo to provide the extra thrust needed. The wheels used for the Hakskeen pan were 90-cm, 95kg aircraft-grade alloys.
Over and above the grandeur of reaching the fastest land speed ever the project was also educational. They interacted with young students in an attempt to drive interest in STEM careers.