Earlier this year, the future of the Bloodhound land speed record project looked shaky. However, with funding now secured, a prototype is ready to test, complete with a new livery and a new name. Meet the Bloodhound LSR.
Under the spotlight for the first time will be the car’s precision-machined solid aluminium wheels. They’re designed to hold together at speeds no rubber tyres could cope with. With the Bloodhound gunning for 1,000mph, it’s their job to glide across the ground as smoothly, and with as little drag, as possible.
This test session in South Africa’s Northern Cape will see the Bloodhound LSR achieve speeds beyond 500mph.
Slowing the fastest car on Earth
One of the main challenges isn’t reaching high speeds, it’s slowing down again. Doing so safely and securely is of utmost importance.
As they test, engineers will build speeds in 50mph intervals. They’ll note how the car behaves using each of its braking devices, including parachutes, airbrakes and the more familiar wheel brakes.
It’s not a case of dropping your Land Speed Record car off at the desert and getting on with it, either. A total of 16,500 tonnes of rock had to be removed from 22 million square metres of dried lake bed first. This work was undertaken by groups including the Northern Cape Provincial Government and members of the local community.
— Bloodhound LSR (@Bloodhound_LSR) October 21, 2019
All being well, the team should topple ThrustSSC’s 763mph land-speed record in between 12 and 18 months.
“Newquay was all about getting up to speed and finding out how quickly we could get the engine to full power and accelerate using max reheat,” said a Bloodhound spokesperson.
“Andy was on the throttle for two seconds to reach 200 mph (322 km/h) in eight seconds. Here at the Hakskeenpan on a 10-mile track we can accelerate for much longer, achieve higher speeds and investigate the car’s stability, performance and drag, all crucial as we move towards setting a new world land-speed record.”