Bloodhound auto attempts to beat land speed record

A man working on Bloodhound SSC. Pic Bloodhound SSC

Today, the auto relied on a Eurojet EJ200 jet engine for thrust. That figure is a long way off the team's ultimate goal of 763 miles per hour, however, and a new world land speed record. Described by the Bloodhound Project as "the world's most advanced straight-line racing vehicle", the Bloodhound SSC reached a peak speed of 340 km/h (210mph).

In the pilot seat was Andy Green, a former fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force, and current land speed record holder.

Today's test just used Bloodhound SSC's EJ200 jet engine. The record is 763.035 miles per hour and it was set 20 years ago by the Thrust SSC and Wing Commander Andy Green, who will also be testing out the new Bloodhound today. They intend to push automotive design to the limits of what our knowledge and materials can achieve - and if in the process they push the speed goalposts so far over the horizon that the Union Flag will fly forever over the record, then that's only right.

We'll have to wait until 2019 for the first record-breaking attempt.


The test run in Newquay will not feature these hybrid rockets (they're still being finished in Norway), but instead will be a preliminary test of the car's jet engine and its state-of-the-art computer systems.

These shakedown runs are of course necessary to make sure all systems are working as intended before the vehicle heads out to South Africa for its record attempt. They just started to flicker with flame - very sort of Formula One, but in a proper high-speed auto.

It accelerated from 0-200mph in eight seconds during the first of two runs, hitting a peak speed of 210mph. The fuel pump driving oxidiser to the rocket motor is now powered by a 550bhp supercharged Jaguar V8 engine, but the team is investigating the possibility of replacing it with an electric motor - battery technology has come a long way since the days of Thrust SSC.

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