The first full test firing of a hybrid rocket designed for the Bloodhound SSC land speed record car will take place this summer in the UK.
A number of sites are currently being evaluated to test the 122kN (27,000lbs) prototype hybrid rocket for the car, which aims to break the land speed record by going 1000mph.
The rocket has been designed and manufactured by The Falcon Project Ltd, a specialist rocket company based in Manchester, led by 27-year-old rocketeer Daniel Jubb.
The rocket combines solid fuel with a liquid oxidiser, and at four metres, 45.7cm in diameter and weighing 400kg, the rocket is the largest hybrid ever designed in the UK.
It will burn for 20 seconds per run, during which time it will consume 181kg of solid fuel and 963g of oxidizer to produce 122kN peak thrust – equivalent to 77,500hp, or the combined power of 645 family saloon cars.
Bloodhound project director Richard Noble said the firing of the rocket will happen in the next few months and is not a demonstration but “for real”.
There are now over 4000 schools following the project, which equated to around 1.5 million school children. Noble said he had set out to build the car, but now realised the project had “enormous social consequences”. The message he had got from teachers was that teaching science, technology, engineering, mathematics was “very difficult” because there was nothing exciting going on in Britain to have as a reference. Students and teachers were “absolutely fascinated” by the project, he said.
Cosworth Group Holdings Ltd is supplying a Cosworth CA2010 Formula 1 engine for the car, and chief executive Tim Routsis said one of the reasons the company decided to get involved is because at its core, Bloodhound is trying to encourage the view that STEM subjects are something that can lead to a rich and fulfilling life.
“It’s the fact that this project has something utterly unique about it, which is the way its engaging the young boys and girls of today in something which is genuinely an engineering adventure, is an extremely compelling reason for company’s like Cosworth to get involved.”
Cosworth’s engine will be mounted to a pump from a 1960s Blue Steel cruise missile, and together will deliver, in a mere 20 seconds, 963kg of liquid High Test Peroxide to burn the rocket’s solid fuel. The car also has an EJ 200 jet engine in it from a Eurofighter.