Bloodhound SSC to Run for the Record in 2017

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Bloodhound SSC to Run for the Record in 2017

July 11, 2016

The Bloodhound SSC—the vehicle that has been designed and engineered to break the record set by Andy Green in the Thrust SSC back on October 15, 1997: 763.035 mph, the World Land Speed Record that still stands—will make its run in October 2017 in South Africa, the team recently announced.

(Photos: Flock & Siemens)

Of course, this is if the development continues on course: there is just one Bloodhound SSC, so if something goes wrong with it. . . .

One interesting aspect of the development project is that a key portion is the disassembly of the car. That’s right: taking the completed car apart. This will be done so that the engineers and technicians will be able to document that procedures, which will result in the creation of the “Bloodhound SSC User Manual,” an illustrated guide to the world’s fastest car.

The team figures this will be essential next year when they’re working on the car in the Kalahari Desert.

The vehicle will have its first run under power in June 2017 at the Newquay Aerohub in Cornwall. It will run at a loaf, only around 220 mph.

Assuming all goes correctly, then the 13.5-meter-long, 7.5-metric ton vehicle will be packed up and shipped via a CargoLogicAir Boeing 747 to Upington, South Africa, then transported by road to the desert base at Hakskeen Pan, Northern Cape, South Africa.

For those wondering how this vehicle is expected to go in excess of 1,000 mph, know that it is powered by both a Nammo rocket and a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine, the combination of which results in around 135,000 horsepower.

You might wonder how you stop something like this.

You use a redundant system. There are airbrakes, two parachutes and wheel brakes, each of which will be used sequentially. At 1,000 mph the throttle is closed, thereby slowing the car to around 800 mph, at which point the airbrakes applied, creating 6 metric tons of drag. When the Bloodhound SSC is down to about 600 mph, the first parachute is deployed; the second parachute is deployed—if necessary—at 400 mph. The parachutes are on a 20-meter line so that there isn’t excessive turbulence right at the rear of the car. Then, at 250 mph, the wheel brakes are applied. The plan has it that all of this will bring it to a stop.

Here’s something interesting about the wheel brakes:

When the vehicle is tested at Newquay, it will be fitted with carbon fiber wheel discs, just like on race cars and airplanes.

However, when the car makes its run in the desert, those composite discs will be replaced with steel brake discs.

Why? Because they tested the composite discs under the extremes that the brakes will see during the World Record Runs and they exploded. Not ideal at 250 mph.