It's taken more than three years of testing and research to perfect the design and aerodynamic package, but engineers are closer to completing what what will soon become the planet's most incredible car.
The Bloodhound Project is a world land speed record attempt that is moving closer to reaching its goal of building a supersonic automobile.
The Bloodhound Education Programme, aiming to inspire young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, has been working on the car for years, and the design is just now moving out of the computer models. Engineers have recently unveiled a 1:1 scale model replica which was on display this week at the Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire, England.
Mike Horne Design worked on ThrustSSC, a car that set the current land speed record with the only car in the world to have officially gone supersonic at Black Rock Desert, Nevada on October 15, 1997, breaking the sound barrier and reaching 763 mph.
The Bloodhound aerodynamic team, lead by Ron Ayers, generated millions of mathematical equations to investigate how the air around the 12.8-meter-long car would react as the vehicle accelerates to its maximum design speed of 1,050 mph, and using this information they designed an efficient shape that would be stable at supersonic speeds while still offering control at a sub-sonic velocity.
Metallic structures manufacturer Hampson Industries built the primary rear structure of the supersonic car from a combination of steel, titanium and aluminum.
The rear structure is of critical importance to the design, as it needs to be capable of handling 9 tons of jet thrust from the EJ200 engine, plus 12 tons of thrust from its Falcon hybrid rocket. Vibration and high temperature from both the jet and rocket, along with the suspension loads and the 9 tons of brake chute drag, put great stresses on the body at supersonic speeds.
At left, the Bloodhound SSC's 6-foot Falcon rocket and HTP (high test peroxide) pump. The hybrid rocket in Bloodhound SSC uses HTP as the oxidizer and a synthetic rubber Hydroxyl-Terminated Polybutadiene (HTPB) as the primary fuel. HTP is concentrated (86 percent) hydrogen peroxide H2O2.
The vehicle will carry 963 kg (2,100 lbs) of HTP, supplied to the chamber by a high speed pump, which is based on the large HTP pump used in the Stentor rocket engine that powered the U.K.'s Blue Steel cruise missiles in the 1960s.