On 12 April, the Bloodhound Project published its genome: the full design drawings for Bloodhound SSC, at One Birdcage Walk, with this 3D imagery representing 30 man-years of design effort.
Cutting-edge high technology projects of this calibre are usually shrouded in secrecy, but a key aspect of the Bloodhound mission is the aim of sharing the adventure – and data – with the biggest audience possible. Consequently, the design drawings will be distributed to over 4,500 schools and colleges across the UK, where they can be accessed by over 1.5million students, and to the extended team of fans and enthusiasts following the Bloodhound Project in the 207 countries around the world.
The genome launch was introduced by John Wood, President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, who said: “It’s unprecedented to release detailed design data from a project like this, yet it’s part of the unique appeal and importance of Bloodhound to demonstrate how sophisticated engineering works.”
“This world class project demonstrates the remarkable creative and technical skills already in the UK, and we hope it will inspire a whole new generation.”
The technical aspects of the genome were introduced by Bloodhound Chief Engineer, Mark Chapman, and Bloodhound Design Engineer, Chris Hannon, who has recently been working on the aerodynamics of the car’s tail fin, and IMechE Bloodhound Ambassador Aimée McLaughlin, who regularly goes into schools to inspire children about engineering.
Mark Chapman, Bloodhound Chief Engineer, said: “If you had a spare jet, rocket and F1 engine, you could, in theory, use these drawings to build your own Bloodhound at home. Much as we enjoy a good race, we don’t recommend it. Things get pretty hairy when you travel faster than a bullet!”
The downloadable 3D design drawings, that make up the car’s genetics, are the result of an incredible 30 man-years of cutting-edge research and world-beating design work. Comprised of 4,000 individually-designed components, you can deconstruct the CAD model layer by layer, rotate on all axes and zoom in and out, using professional engineering software from Siemens. Access the drawings.
The 3D design drawings allow viewers to explore the remarkable engineering that allows Bloodhound SSC to accelerate from 0 -1050 mph and back in just 100 seconds and safely handle the phenomenal forces and loads acting upon it: the 47,000 lbs thrust (equivalent to 133,000 thp) generated by its jet and rocket engines; 30 tonne suspension loadings; air pressures on the bodywork of up to 10 tonnes per square metre; the air brakes each exert 2.2 tonnes as they open; solid aluminium wheels alone weigh 90 kg each and will be spinning at 10,200 rpm, generating 50,000 radial g at the rim.
Unlike more traditional forms of motor sport, like Formula One, there is no competitive risk in sharing secrets. The 3D design drawings will be used extensively in the Bloodhound Education Programme, which produces curriculum-ready resource materials for all levels of education. Currently 4,081 primary and secondary schools, 246 further education colleges and 42 universities, encompassing 1.5 million students, are now exposed to real-world case studies based on the jet- and rocket-powered car, helping to bring their science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) lessons vibrantly to life.
John Wood said: “We need to excite more young people about careers in engineering: encouraging them to study science, technology, engineering and maths subjects and then become engineers.”
“For me, growing up in the 1950s, it was very easy to be inspired by engineering because nearly every week there was a new land or air speed record. Our great heroes were the test pilots Peter Twiss and Neville Duke. We looked up to them and their achievements, and it made children like me want to become engineers.”
“At the same time, as a boy, I couldn’t wait for the Eagle to come out every Wednesday. The comic used to have cut away drawings in the centrefold, and this inspired youngsters to find out how cars or aircraft actually worked. We hope that the Bloodhound drawings will work to inspire today’s school children in exactly the same way.”
This sentiment was echoed by Institution Bloodhound Ambassador Aimée McLaughlin, who goes into schools to inspire students to get into engineering, and said: " I know that when I go into classrooms and tell children that Bloodhound can travel faster than a speeding bullet, has over 100 times more powerful than an F1 car and has bulletproof wheels, that grabs their attention. Bloodhound is completely accessible, so children will be able to look at the drawings and design data and see how everything looks and how it works - it really is a great opportunity for them to learn."
As many members of the Institution will know schoolchildren across the country are already building their own pyrotechnic rocket cars, go-karts and even a life-size replica of the Bloodhound cockpit complete with seat, steering yoke and dials. So, who knows what imaginative projects will be inspired by the release of these design drawings.
After 36 months of detailed design work, refined versions of these newly released design drawings have been issued to key Bloodhound suppliers including Hampson Industries Plc, who will shortly commence cutting the first steel and aluminium to fabricate the rear chassis. Meanwhile, Cosworth Ltd is close to completing preparation of its Formula One racing engine and software package ready for the largest rocket test the UK has seen in 20 years – due to take place this summer.
As part of the launch, the Bloodhound showcar was positioned in Horse Guards Parade for several hours and was viewed by hundreds of interested people, including many children enjoying their school holidays, and Evan Davis, the presenter of Dragon’s Den, and the BBC Radio 4 Today programme. Institution President John Wood was interviewed for BBC London’s news programme, and the launch was also covered by BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, and appeared in the Daily Mirror, The Sun, the Daily Mail, and the Independent.
For more information:
CAD drawings available to download at: http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/car/facts_and_figures/cad_drawings.cfm
Animations can be viewed online at: http://www.vonicon.com/bloodhoundssc/bloodhound_tour.htm or www.youtube.com/1050mph
To volunteer as an Institution Bloodhound Ambassador, please contact Hazel Morgan at email@example.com
To attend a Bloodhound event near you, please visit http://www.imeche.org/knowledge/themes/education/bloodhound/get-involved