The Bloodhound Land Speed Record team have announced that time is running out to secure the funding needed to attempt the new supersonic world land speed record within the 2021 weather window on the Hakskeenpan, South Africa.
The team need to secure funding to the tune of £8 million (around R158 million) by the end of March 2020 to meet financial requirements to undertake this feat.
“The clock is ticking to raise the necessary investment to re-group the team and crack on with the rocket program and other car upgrades in time to hit our 2021 deadlines. If we miss our cool weather window in July and August, temperatures in the Kalahari will make running a rocket untenable next year,” said Ian Warhurst, Bloodhound’s CEO.
The rocket used in the Bloodhound uses concentrated hydrogen peroxide (water with an extra oxygen molecule – H2O2) as the propellant. This oxsidier has to be stored at cool temperatures. While relatively inert at temperatures around 20°C – typical Winter temperatures for July, August in the Northern Cape, it becomes volatile if temperature rises above 50°C. The team experienced 44°C during their visit to South Africa last October.
This is not the first time the team have hit funding issues, with the project plagued by these issues. In 2017, funding issues led the Bloodhound’s run to be delayed for a year. In 2018, the team said they were going under administration but were saved at the last moment by an outside investor.
With this investment, the team were able to clear a test site on the Hakskeenpan and complete successful tests. These tests included completing a 1,011km/h run with the ultimate goal being 1,609 km/h.
Image: BloodHound LSR/Twitter