Construction begins on 1,000 mph rocket car

The Bloodhound supersonic car will go from 0 to 1,000mph in 45 seconds.

Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
Tim Hornyak

The Bloodhound will have a Formula One engine to deliver fuel to its rocket. Nick Haselwood

A group of British companies is starting construction this week on what could be the world's fastest car, designed to go over 1,000 mph and break the land speed record.

The Bloodhound SSC project has been on the drawing board for more than three years, though a full-size show car was put on display last year.

The 6-ton, 42-foot-long, 135,000-horsepower monster will be propelled by a Eurofighter-Typhoon jet engine and a Falcon rocket. It should be able to go from 0 to 1,000 mph in 45 seconds.

Advanced Composites Group, Cosworth, and Hampson Industries are involved in construction. After Bloodhound is built, low-speed trials will start at a runway in Britain in the second quarter of 2012.

Royal Air Force Wing Commander Andy Green is to pilot Bloodhound in South Africa next year in an attempt to shatter his own 1997 record of 763 mph in the Thrust SuperSonic Car, the first land vehicle to break the sound barrier.

A significant threat to the car will be the presence of rocks on Hakskeen Pan, the dry lake bed where the trial will take place. Since rocks can damage the car's body and wheels, local workers began removing debris from a large area last year.

(Via BBC News)