Bloodhound Supersonic Car Completes Initial Testing, Hopes to Surpass Mach 1

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
bloodhound supersonic car completes initial testing hopes to surpass mach 1

It has been a long time since anybody set a new land-speed record. In the early days, it seemed like a new benchmark was set every couple of years but the current bar hasn’t budged since 1997 — when Andy Green screamed across Black Rock in the Thrust SSC at a mind-warping 763 mph.

There is a new jet-propelled “automobile” preparing to break that record, backed by a multi-million-dollar venture between Geely Automobiles, Rolls-Royce, and anyone else interested in seeing a wheeled rocket scoot across the ground at supersonic speeds. There will not, however, be a new driver. Andy Green will be reprising his role as the fastest man on sand whilst piloting the Bloodhound SSC in South Africa.

That’s a ways off, though. The Bloodhound has only just completed initial trials in the United Kingdom hitting 200 miles per hour in nine seconds. With enough room to run, Green thinks it could easily break the world record within a few years.

“We came here to say Bloodhound is Go! And that’s exactly what we managed to demonstrate today,” Green said after successfully testing the vehicle at Cornwall Airport in Newquay, England, this weekend. “The performance, the handling, the stability of it — I can’t fault the car at all, it just worked brilliantly.”

Using a combination of car and aircraft technology, the front section of the vehicle uses a carbon-fiber monocoque with a metallic framework for the tail section. The front wheels sit within the body to improve aerodynamics while the rear wheels are mounted externally within fairings. It’s powered by three engines: a Eurojet EJ200 jet engine and Nammo rocket cluster provide the trust, while a supercharged V8 (provided by Jaguar) serves as an auxiliary power unit and drives the rocket oxidizer pump. Total thrust is estimated at about 135,000 horsepower.

The Bloodhound project was launched in 2008 with the singular objective of designing a car able to reach speeds above 1,000 mph. Roughly 30 million pounds ($39.49 million) have already gone into its development but that price tag could double by the time it makes a drive for the record.

[Image: The Bloodhound Project]

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3 of 17 comments
  • Doublechili Doublechili on Oct 30, 2017

    I hope they had a rope or fence to protect those spectators in case the rocket car lost control....

    • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Oct 30, 2017

      Just follow the advice of my high school AD when the senior boys were charged with winching basketball goals up and down. "If the cable snaps and that things starts to drop, run like h*ll."

  • Makuribu Makuribu on Oct 30, 2017

    If there's no drive train, ie if the wheels aren't driven by the engine, it's not so much a car as a rocket on a skateboard. Horrible waste of time and money, but then I think of McLaren-Honda in F1...

  • SCE to AUX I'll take the one in the photo.
  • ToolGuy EV Nerd Question: Let's say a person has a home and has electricity and has an EV and has plenty of time to charge and can choose between 120V and 240V at-home charging on this particular charge cycle. How would the choice of 120V (using the 120V 'cord' charger that came with the vehicle) or 240V (using the charger on the wall) affect the following:a) Cost of the 'fill-up' -- i.e., is there a difference in efficiency of the energy delivery to the vehicle battery between 120V and 240V?b) Long-term life/health of the vehicle battery -- i.e., we know that fast charging stresses the battery more -- by analogy is 120V better than 240V?
  • Cprescott Very expensive and nice looking golf cart.
  • SPPPP Speaking of soggy bottoms, those vinyl seats look very uninspiring. But the rest of the car looks pretty nice. I am not such a fan of combining a Nissan CVT with an over-stressed 3-cylinder, but I guess time will tell how that works out.
  • Lichtronamo Like most here, have a L2 Charger at home. Have only plugged into a publicly accessible charger 2x only to try it. We have an EV and ICE car in our garage, so we haven't driven the EV on a longer trip. I would like to try it on a road trip. I think the driving characteristics of an EV with somewhat longer stops along the way would be enjoyable.