Bloodhound 1,000-mph SSC project gets a jump-start

The owner of a turbocharger company gives the supersonic car the boost it needed.

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Sean Keane
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The Bloodhound supersonic car project is back on track.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

A British entrepreneur has saved the Bloodhound supersonic car project.

Things were looking bleak for the endeavor, which aims to hit 1,000 mph in a land vehicle, after a Dec. 7 announcement that it failed to get the funding needed to finish development and testing.

However, the project announced Monday that Ian Warhurst of Yorkshire will buy the business "for an undisclosed amount."

Trackside for the Bloodhound rocket car's first speed run

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Warhurst, the owner and managing director of turbocharger company Melett, "will bring considerable expertise to bear" and will reveal his plans for Bloodhound in early 2019, according to joint administrator Andrew Sheridan.

"In the meantime, we would particularly like to thank the Ministry of Defence and Rolls Royce for their support and collaboration throughout this process, without which it would not have been possible for the project to be in a position to continue," Sheridan said in a statement.

Watch this: Bloodhound SSC: Breaking the sound barrier and on to 1,000mph -- on four wheels

The team behind Bloodhound is trying to beat the 760-mph record set by the Thrust SSC in 1997 and to hit its own 200-mph target speed in 8 seconds, which it did in a test run in England in November 2017. A Eurojet EJ200 jet engine will launch the Bloodhound to 300 mph, then a rocket will push it to 1,000 mph.

"I am delighted to have been able to safeguard the business and assets preventing the project breakup. I know how important it is to inspire young people about science, technology, engineering and maths, and I want to ensure BLOODHOUND can continue doing that into the future," Warhurst said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

"It's clear how much this unique British project means to people and I have been overwhelmed by the messages of thanks I have received in the last few days."

First published Dec. 17 at 7:42 a.m. PT.
Updated Dec. 20 at 4:33 a.m. PT: Added statement from Ian Warhurst.

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