A computer generated image of the Bloodhound supersonic car

Bloodhound teams up with Norwegian rocket makers

The makers of the rockets used to separate the stages of ESA’s Ariane 5 launch vehicle, have teamed up with the Bloodhound project.

A new family of compact hybrid rockets under-development by Norwegian rocket propulsion specialists Nammo will be combined with the car’s EJ200 jet to push the car to its 1,050mph maximum design speed.

A combination of these motors will provide roughly 123.75kN (27,500lbs) of thrust which, when combined with 90kN (20,200lbs) thrust from the car’s EJ200 jet, will generate the equivalent of 135,000 ‘thrust' horse power – eight times more power than all the cars on a Formula One starting grid combined.

Bloodhound’s chief engineer Mark Chapman said: “Nammo is a great addition to our team. Their technology is outstanding, as are their test facilities. Most important, though, is their enthusiasm for being part of this unconventional, high profile, engineering adventure. They share our passion for inspiring the next generation of engineers and innovators.”

The project previously employed UK-US firm Falcon Project to validate the concept of using a hybrid rocket in the car, which culminated in a static test in October 2012 where the team fired what was the largest hybrid rocket ever developed in Europe.

While a success, the test showed that further development work was needed to optimise this bespoke design and also brought Bloodhound to the attention of Nammo, which had already a tried and tested technology that could be used in the car with minimal adaptation.

“Creating rocket motors from scratch is not easy and we were impressed by what Bloodhound had achieved,” said Nammo’s vice president of technology, Dr Onno Verberne.

“It was exciting to discover that we had a product of similar size and output that could help the team both simplify and accelerate its rocket programme. We are extremely proud of our technology and look forward to demonstrating it to the world when Bloodhound runs in 2015 and 2016.”

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