3M and the Bloodhound: Bloodhound blazes through first public test runs

  • The British supersonic car designed to travel at speeds of up to 1,000mph - faster than a bullet ñ made its first public test runs in Cornwall on 26 October.

    Bloodhound SSC, which was driven by RAF Wing Commander Andy Green, carried out initial ëslow-speedí trials of around 200mph on the runway at Newquay Airport.

    As well as the ear-splitting noise, the crowd of 3,000 supporters and VIPs was treated to the bright glare of the engine on reheat.

    "We did two back-to-back 200mph runs in a five-tonne car. It felt like about eight seconds, which was what we were expecting," Wing Commander Green said on stepping out of the cockpit.

    "It was a real hard work-out for the brakes. Probably up to somewhere close to a thousand degrees, the front brakes were smoking furiously after the second run. They just started to flicker with flame - very sort of Formula One, but in a proper high-speed car. And that was exactly what we were hoping for."

    The 13.47 metre long car is currently powered by a Eurofighter Typhoon jet engine and when this is combined with a Norwegian rocket motor, it will generate a combined 135,000 thrust horsepower, equivalent to 180 Formula One cars.

    Bloodhound SSC aims to smash the current world land speed record ñ currently standing at 763mph - in 2020 when it will unleash its full power on a special track prepared on a dried-out lakebed in Northern Cape, South Africa.

    To that end, every aspect of the car has been designed for speed, including the distinctive blue and orange paintwork that needed to be ultra-smooth and lightweight.

    3M Atherstoneís Automotive Refinish Centre (ARC) was chosen as the perfect place for preparing and painting the bodywork of the supersonic car as it houses a first-class spray booth and top-of-the-range equipment.

    The car spent time at the site in the summer of 2015 for work on its front half and returned in January 2017 to have the upper chassis sprayed, keeping the vehicle as smooth as possible to reduce turbulence on the skin, but without adding too much weight to the car.

    Speaking in advance of the slow-speed trial, Wing Commander Green said: "This is about showing the world what we're about. We've designed and built the most extraordinary, sophisticated, high-performance land speed record car in history.î

    It is exactly 20 years since Andy set the current land speed record when he drove the jet-powered Thrust SSC vehicle through the sound barrier in the American Nevada desert to register a speed of 763mph.

    His new machine benefits from two decades of technological improvement and will have the assistance not only of a state-of-the-art Eurofighter-Typhoon jet engine but the thrust of a rocket motor. It is now beginning a series of slow-speed trials to test the performance of the Eurofighter power unit and to run the rule over the vehicle's steering, brakes, suspension and electronics systems.

    Weíll keep you updated of any progress with the Bloodhound, but in the meantime, why not check out our Facebook or Twitter profiles?

  • Bloodhound facts and figures:

    The Bloodhound SSC measures 13.470 metres in length and 3 metres high
    It is designed to reach 1,050 mph
    To put this into perspective, the Bloodhound will be faster than a bullet fired from a Magnum 357, reaches 150 metres in the blink of an eye and can cover four and a half football pitches in 1 second
    The current World Land Speed Record is 763.035 mph
    There are three types of brake: the friction brake will be deployed at 200mph, the parachutes will be deployed at 600mph and the air brake at 800mph
    The EJ200 Jet engine delivers 90 kN (20,233 lbf) of power, the Hybrid Rocket engine 122 kN (27,427 lbf), and the Auxiliary Power Unit is a 5.0L Supercharged V8 engine delivering fuel at 43 ltrs / sec to the Hybrid Rockets.


    Find out more at: http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/project/facts-and-figures

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