After years of preparation, the Bloodhound Land Speed Record (LSR) team is preparing to embark on a mission to South Africa’s Northern Cape Province to attempt to break the sound barrier, which is equal to 1,200 km/h
According to the BBC, the team in charge of the Bloodhound will test their design choices by first running a series of sub-supersonic runs. The trial runs will be conducted on a dried-out lakebed called Hakskeen Pan, located in the Mier region in the Northern Cape.
During the test runs, the Bloodhound LSR will use a Rolls-Royce EJ200 engine taken from a Eurofighter Typhoon jet, which in theory, will help the car reach speeds of between 804-965 km/h.
If the tests go as planned during the sub-supersonic runs, and the vehicle is able to reach the 800-900 km/h barrier without fail, the team will return to Hakskeen Pan in 12-18 months. At that point, the Bloodhound LSR will have an upgraded rocket motor mounted in the vehicle. The team hopes that the extra boost provided from the new rocket motor will be enough to propel the car beyond the magical 1,200 km/h mark.
While the race team have been working around the clock to get the car ready for its 8,000 km journey, the Northern Cape’s provincial government has been working on getting the dried-out lakebed ready for the speed run. A lot of the work to remove rocks and other debris was completed over a year ago at Hakskeen Pan, but annual rains have revealed more rocks and other material that will need to be removed before any land speed record attempts are made.
When the Bloodhound team arrives at Hakskeen Pan, they’ll have to get the car ready for its speed run tests. This includes carefully unpacking it from the airfreight pallet, fitting its 90kg metal desert wheels, and the crucial tail fin, which will keep the Bloodhound LSR pointing in the right direction. All of this preparation will take place at the engineering workshop which has been erected at on the eastern side of the dry lakebed.
Each test will run on a detailed schedule, known as ‘Run profiles’. Every profile has a target speed that the team hopes to achieve, along with test objectives. At the moment, the test profile looks like this, but it is subject to change based on test results.
RunProfile 1- Static engine test, followed by a slow-speed test of steering and breaks. No faster than 160 km/h.
RunProfile 2- Reach a speed of 300 km/h, then a coast-down to establish rolling resistance with a running engine.
RunProfile 3- Lateral stability tests before and after reaching a peak speed of 563 km/h, then a coast-down period after engine shutdown to measure rolling resistance without idle thrust from the jet engine.
RunProfile 4- Stability tests before and after peak speed, followed by the first brake chute test at a speed of 640km/p
RunProfile 5- Stability and brake chute tests at 720 km/h
RunProfile 6- Stability checks and double break chute tests at 800 km/h
RunProfile 7 to 12 will be defined in more detail once the results of the earlier RunProfiles are examined.
“So that’s it – we are off to South Africa to start putting the car through its paces. This is engineering at its best and I look forward to everyone joining us online as the action unfolds this autumn.” Said Bloodhound CEO Ian Warhurst.
Image: Bloodhound LSR