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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lift off! Triple-powered by F1 engine, jet and rocket, the British car aiming to smash 1,000mph passes its first test


A replica version of the Bloodhound was also on display at RAF St Mawgan near Newquay, where 400 people gathered to watch the rocket test.

First came the low, cultured hum of the Formula One racing car engine; then rolling thunder as the rocket fired up.
A plume of flame shot out for ten seconds and the roar at the nozzle reached an estimated 186 decibels – louder than a Boeing 747 at take off. Indeed, the racket from the rocket was later claimed to be the loudest man-made noise anywhere in the world.
Such is the awesome power of the British supercar which aims to shatter the land speed record next year.

Four years after the project began, the rocket system which the designers hope will help Bloodhound SSC (supersonic car) smash through the 1,000mph barrier has been tested for the first time.
At 12 feet long, 18 inches in diameter and weighing just under 1,000lb, the rocket is the largest of its kind ever designed in Europe and was the biggest to be fired in the UK for 20 years. Yesterday, it was bolted to the floor for the test in a bomb-proof hangar at Newquay Airport, Cornwall, and was only operating at half capacity.

The bloodhound jet engine that it is hoped will propel the British car to 1,000mph in 2014

But next year, if all goes well when it is fitted inside the £10million car, the rocket will send the gleaming orange and blue machine racing to 1,050mph.
In the hangar it was surrounded by a ‘water deluge system’ in case it exploded and concrete blocks separated it from other parts of the engine. ‘If it blows up, at least we’ll save something,’ said one engineer. Guests were invited to watch via a video link in a nearby hangar and around 120,000 people around the globe viewed it online.

Driver Wing Commander Andy Green, left, Defence Minister Philip Dunne, and Bloodhound Director Richard Noble alongside the Bloodhound

In its ultimate form the rocket will generate around 27,500lb of thrust – equivalent to about 80,000 horsepower, the combined output of 95 Formula One cars. Earplugs were available yesterday, a wise precaution given that the rock concert said to be the loudest ever – a 1976 show by The Who – reached a mere 126 decibels.
The assault on the record is due to take place in the South African desert at Hakskeen Pan, the site in 1929 of one of Sir Malcolm Campbell’s many attempts. If Bloodhound succeeds, it will reach 1.4 times the speed of sound – fast enough to get from Land’s End to John o’Groats in 51 minutes.

A soldier cycles past the Bloodhound at the Wellington barracks in central London. Its rocket engine will be fired for the first time this week

It would also see RAF pilot Andy Green, 50, who will drive Bloodhound, smash his existing land speed record by more than 200mph and become the first man to drive through the 1,000mph barrier. Should the target of 1,050mph be reached, it will also beat the low-altitude speed record for aircraft of 994mph.

source: dailymail

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