Everything you wanted to know about the 135,000 bhp LSR car that’ll do a mile in 3.6 seconds.
The current record holder Thrust SSC was piloted by RAF Wing Commander Andy Green who pushed the twin-jet-powered supersonic car through the sound barrier in 1997 at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada posting an average speed (of two runs) of 763.035 mph. Andy Green’s back to break his own record and this time, he and his team are aiming to go past the 1000 mph mark in their blue-and-orange 135,000 bhp Bloodhound SSC at Hakskeen Plan in South Africa. The test runs will start later this year and the final assault on the world record will take place sometime in 2016. The team assembled by project leader and ex-land speed record holder Richard Nobel consists of some of the best of engineers working on some of the world’s best racing technologies.
The technology used in Bloodhound SSC is so advanced, it can make an F1 car look like a soapbox. Every stat pertaining to Bloodhound is staggering. A jet engine borrowed from a Typhoon jet fighter, a rocket hotter than a volcano, thrust equivalent to 135,000 bhp and the ability to cover a mile in 3.6 second; Bloodhound is most certainly the most technologically advanced sports car ever created.
Four wheels: For the world land speed record to be considered, it is essential to have four wheels in contact with the ground at all time.
Average time of two runs done in opposite directions: For the world land speed record to be registered, one needs to do two runs in opposite directions. This is done so that nobody can take undue advantage of slope or wind conditions. Also, the run needs to be completed within one hour through the measured mile (one kilometer) and the average speed of the two runs is calculated as the final time.
There are three of them.
1. A 5.0 liter V8 engine producing 550 bhp that’s lifted from the Jaguar’s flagship model – the F-type R.
The only traditional car engine, Jaguar F-Type R’s 550 bhp V8 engine, that’s present in Bloodhound won’t even be used to propel the wheels. In fact, it’ll only be used to pump fuel to the rocket. EJ200 jet engine will propel the car to 200 mph. Thereafter, the Nammo rockets will be engaged and with their combined power, 135,000 bhp of trust will be produced which will then push Bloodhound to the sound barrier and beyond. The current design involves just one record but to build an assault on the LSR, the team will make necessary changes to the design and fit in two more rockets.
- According to the project leader Mark Chapman, “The speed of sound is faster through the desert floor than it is through the air. Hence, there is a faint possibility that the desert floor start to crack even before Bloodhound reaches it.” There is no real way to test this, even if they do test it in England, the soil composition of Hakskeen Pan is quite different and hence the date will be irrelevant. However, Andy Green believes that while this is theoretically possible, it’s a highly-unlikely scenario.
- Air brakes doesn’t open equally. In this case, the air would pass through one side of the car faster than it would through the other making it highly unstable.
- Parachutes open up too soon or too late. We want the ‘chutes to open up at precisely the right moment. Open up too soon and they’ll get ripped off; open up too late and there won’t have enough wind to fill them up and create sufficient drag, in which case the car won’t slow down on time and it will have to rely on run-off area in the desert. To counter the parachutes’ timing issue, there’s a mechanical lever in the cockpit which has a rope running along the length of the Bloodhound which would physically pull a pin that would deploy the parachute.
- Bird hit. A 2 kg bird hitting the car at 800 mph is something that can be highly dangerous to the car as well as the driver. The canopy is made up of two 25mm layers of highly-durable acrylic which can withstand a bird hit at supersonic speeds.
“Besides creating the world’s fastest car and breaking the 1000 mph barrier, Bloodhound SSC’s core aim is to make world’s largest engineering experience to the world’s largest audience,” says Andy Green.
For this reason, all the data that will be generated through the course of development and through the world record runs will be for anyone who wishes to analyze them. It’s an open-source project and through this, the Bloodhound team is hoping to inspire a generation of students to take up science and engineering as a career. For this reason, the Bloodhound team has various education initiatives to get more and more students excited about the project (and science).
We will keep tracking Bloodhound Team’s progress and bring you all the latest happening as they move from Bristol, UK to Hakskeen Pan, SA to make their land speed record attempt.