The Bloodhound LSR is coming to the Northern Cape

Date:10 July 2019 Author: Sam Spiller Tags:, , , , , , , , , , ,

Despite bankruptcy last year, the jet-propelled automobile will be making its way to the Hakskeen Pan to try and break the land speed record.

This week, The Bloodhound Land Speed Record team announced that their supersonic vehicle would be heading to the Hakskeen Pan near Upington in the Northern Cape in October. There, on a special laid-out course on the dry lake bed, it will complete the next step towards ultimately breaking the standing world record of 1,228km/h.

The goal of the trip in October will be to conduct high speed tests of the Bloodhound’s aerodynamics, handling, the wheels specifically built for desert runs, and parachutes that are used for braking. The team also hopes to reach a top speed of 800km/h. This will be the next step in terms of achieved speed, following initial runway tests at Cornwall Airport Newquay in the UK back in October 2017. Those tests proved successful with the car reaching a top speed of 320km/h.

For the upcoming tests, the car will be driven by Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green, who was also responsible for the standing land speed record when he drove Thrust SSC at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1997. He and the team hope to set a new record with a speed of 1,600km/h.

The Bloodhound project has not been without its challenges since it was first launched back in 2008. In October last year, the company responsible for the project went into administration which resulted in a funding shortfall. The project was expected to come to a grinding halt in December when its assets such as the car and equipment would be sold off, but it was then rescued by British entrepreneur Ian Warhurst, whose company now formally owns the car. The project was also renamed ‘Bloodhound LSR’.

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Bit of an engineering day out! #bloodhoundlsr

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The car itself is an engineering marvel. It is powered by a Rolls-Royce EJ200 engine, which are normally found in Eurofighter Typhoon jets and can produce up to 90 kilonewtons of thrust. That is equivalent to the combined power output of 360 normal passenger cars. The wheels are made of solid aluminum, and are designed to spin up to 10,200 times per minute. Four times faster than an F1 race car.

The racetrack on which the Bloodhound will be tested is 19km in length, and was prepared by members of the local Mier community. 16,500 tons of rock were cleared from an area spanning 22 million square meters, making it the largest area cleared by hand to make way for a motorsport event.

Source: Bloodhound LSR

Image: Jules1982/CC BY-SA 4.0

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