In 1997, the ThrustSSC became the first car ever to break the sound barrier, setting a land speed record of 763 mph with Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green at the wheel.Now, Thrust project director Richard Noble and Green are aiming to smash that record by 31 per cent, by hitting Mach 1.4: 1,000 mph.
The Bloodhound SSC (SuperSonic Car), which is nearly 46 feet long and weighs 14,000 pounds, is set to produce an awe-inspiring 135,000 horsepower, powered by an engine from a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet, and a custom-built hybrid rocket.
The project first took shape in 2008. In 2010, the form of the Bloodhound was finalised, and since then it has been under construction. The current team is about 40 people, half of whom are engineers.
Tomorrow, the team will face the biggest hurdle of the project so far: testing the rocket. It will burn for 10 seconds and produce 30,000 hp, about half of what it needs to do to hit the 1,000 mph mark.
To pump the fuel, a mixture of solid synthetic rubber and a liquid oxidizer, into the rocket, the Bloodhound is equipped with an F1 racing engine, good for 800 hp.
If the test goes well, the team will be a step closer to heading to Hakskeen Pak in northwest South Africa, the flat stretch of desert selected for the future record attempt next year.
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