The Bloodhound Land Speed Record (LSR) team has unveiled the car aiming to claim a supersonic first next year in South Africa.
Seen for the first time in ‘desert spec’, Bloodhound is taking part in a series of high-speed tests in the Hakskeenpan desert, Northern Cape, South Africa.
The car has never been seen with its precision machined solid aluminium wheels, made specially to withstand the stresses of traveling at supersonic speeds.
Powered by a state-of-the-art EJ200 Eurofighter Typhoon jet engine, the key objectives of the testing programme are, counterintuitively, to evaluate how the car behaves when slowing down and stopping from a number of target speeds, and building up to and beyond 500 mph (800 km/h).
Only once engineers and driver Andy Green are satisfied they understand the drag and stopping ability of the car will they push to the next run profile, building speed in each run by increments of 50 mph (80 km/h).
The World Land Speed Record of 763.035 mph (1,227.9 km/h) is held by Thrust SSC. The record was set in 1997 by a UK team led by Richard Noble and driven by Bloodhound’s Andy Green.
The project is now split into two phases. Phase one’s target is to break the world land speed record. This is necessary to understand how the car behaves as it enters the transonic stage initially and then supersonic speed levels.
Upon the successful completion of phase one, the team will review the data and technical challenges before embarking on phase two, and the challenge of safely reaching 1,000 mph.