Noble's Bloodhound scents new land speed record

A British team led by Richard Noble OBE has launched a project to break the land speed record with a car that can travel at over 1000mph in 2011.

The Bloodhound SSC (supersonic car) will be driven by Wing Commander Andy Green who set the current record of 763mph (1228kmh) in Thrust SSC, another Richard Noble project, on 15th October 1997.

Noble said the car won't be limited by formulas as F1 technology is. It will take three years to prepare the record attempt in 2011 but it take just 40 seconds for the car to reach 1,050mph - or Mach 1.4 - from standstill. It will, literally, be faster than a speeding bullet, covering 50m in the blink of an eye.

Richard Noble said Bloodhound will use a jet and hybrid rocket. "We need the rocket for its raw power and lack of draggy air intake," he explained, "but the downside is that the rocket is an on/off device and with rocket power alone we would have real difficulty hitting and holding selected Mach numbers for the aerodynamicists to gain their data. At these speeds we have to tread very carefully, increasing the Mach numbers in small careful steps."

"The team behind it will need to solve some ambitious challenges in science, engineering and maths, from constructing the largest hybrid rocket motor ever built in the UK, to making major advances in sensor technology and designing wheels to cope with these incredible forces," said UK Minister of State for Science and Innovation Lord Drayson.

"This project is not just about the bragging rights to the world land speed record. This will result in tangible scientific developments that will benefit all, for example in areas such as fuel efficiency and safety which could be used in the cars we drive in the future."

The build and running costs of the car will be funded by sponsors. Founder sponsors include the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the universities of Swansea and the West of England. The UK government is part-funding an accompanying education programme.

Andy Green said: "I've met graduate engineers who are adamant that our previous record was what inspired their career choice as youngsters: that sort of thing makes all the effort worthwhile. Bloodhound SSC will be so much faster and, we hope, will fire up every school kid about the science and technology."

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