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Bloodhound aims for land speed record by end of 2019 after 'significant development'

Joseph Flaig

Andy Green drives the Bloodhound during testing in Newquay (Credit: Tom McCarthy)
Andy Green drives the Bloodhound during testing in Newquay (Credit: Tom McCarthy)

The land speed record could fall next year after the Bloodhound team confirmed plans for a record attempt in October or November 2019.

After more than a decade of intensive planning, the car will be flown to Northern Cape in South Africa next May for high-speed tests, ahead of plans for it to pass 1,000mph (1,609km/h) later in the year.

Tests of up to 500mph (800km/h) were previously planned for autumn 2018, but two important suppliers went into receivership before completing their work for the project.

Director and former land speed record holder Richard Noble made the announcement following what he called a “very significant development” this month, which could soon boost the project’s fundraising and ability to meet its goals.

“There have been many false dawns over the life of the project and we have, regrettably but unavoidably, tested the patience of our friends, supporters and team,” he said. “The Bloodhound leadership team firmly believes this development will be a game changer… but we want to prove this, not merely hope for it.”

Noble said the team hopes to release details of the development soon.   

The car will run on a desert surface freshly conditioned by seasonal flooding in the second quarter of next year. It will remain in South Africa between tests, greatly reducing logistics costs.

Development of the mono-propellant rocket required for the record attempt will resume in August 2018, with tests once again taking place at Newquay Airfield in Cornwall.

At full speed, current land speed record holder Andy Green hopes to cover a mile (1.6km) in 3.6s – four-and-a-half football pitches laid end to end every second, or 300m in the blink of an eye.

Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

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