Engineers have installed a one-tonne fighter jet engine to the chassis of the Bloodhound supersonic car, which will attempt to break the land speed record in 2016.
A team of five engineers at the Bloodhound technical centre in Avonmouth spent eight hours fitting the EJ200 engine, normally used to power the Eurofighter Typhoon jets, into the chassis of the supersonic car, marking an important milestone on the way towards the record-breaking attempt.
“This is a fantastic moment in the project, it’s great to see the jet engine fitted, it validates the many years of hard work by our team of motorsport and aerospace engineers,” said chief engineer Mark Chapman.
The upper chassis is made of strong but light aluminium to which titanium stringers and titanium skin will be fixed using both glue and 1,400 aircraft spec rivets.
The jet engine, capable of producing about nine tonnes of thrust, is only one of the two enormously powerful units that will propel the car during its supersonic drive in South Africa.
The car’s aluminium and steel-based lower chassis will house a Nammo hybrid rocket that will accelerate the car at almost 2G, to break the 1,000mph speed of sound barrier.
The two engines together will produce more power than 180 Formula One cars.
During the record-breaking attempt in 2016, the pencil-shaped 4m-long, 45.7cm in diameter car weighing 450kg, will cover a purpose-built 12-mile stretch of a South African desert in only two minutes.
In addition to the 2G acceleration, the car’s driver, 51-year old fighter pilot and holder of the current land speed record Andy Green, will also experience a 3G deceleration at the end of the drive.
The assembly of the car is on schedule and the team hopes to roll out the vehicle for low-speed testing at the maximum speed of 200mph next summer. The low-speed tests will take place at Newquay's Aerohub. After that, the titanium carbon-fibre car will be transported to South Africa’s Hakskeen Pan to start the Land Speed Record campaign.
According to the project’s managers 70 per cent of the car’s components have either been completed or are with manufacturers, the final 30 per cent will be ordered by the end of the year.
Over 3,000 parts have already been delivered to the Bloodhound Technical Centre for the technicians to work with.
Apart from breaking the world land speed record the Bloodhound project has another ambitious goal – to attract young people to engineering and inspire the next generation of British innovators.