back to article Whopping supersonic-car rocket rattles idyllic Cornwall

The Bloodhound SuperSonic Car team yesterday pushed the big red button on the "biggest rocket fired in the UK for over 20 years"*. The Falcon Hybrid Rocket - a 45cm (18in) diameter by 3.6m (12ft) long unit burning hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene solid fuel and high-test peroxide (HTP) oxidiser - roared to life for 10 seconds, …

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Makes me sad

To harness all this power and use it to scratch a pair of ruts in the ground and blow some dust up in the air...

UK is still the only nation on Earth that developed an indigenous space launch capability and then gave it up :-(

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Re: Makes me sad

Be fair and give credit where credit is due. The HTP technology that we used to launch our only satellite was a development of the technology we picked up from the Germans after WWII. So it wasnt entirely our own efforts.

Ridley

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Re: Makes me sad

>>UK is still the only nation on Earth that developed an indigenous space launch capability and then gave it up

Surely the U.S. just did that too?

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Re: Makes me sad

"Surely the U.S. just did that too?"

They can still launch unmanned stuff...

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Happy

Re: Makes me sad

"The HTP technology that we used to launch our only satellite was a development of the technology we picked up from the Germans after WWII."

It's debatable. the original German HTP was fairly poor by many accounts.

BTW the HTP pump is (amazingly) an *upgraded* Black Arrow pump from the UK's only orbital launch vehicle.

The Cosworth engine is however *fully* British.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Makes me sad

They can still launch unmanned stuff...

So will this be. I have no idea what acceleration this is, but I fear the vehicle may migrate from "manned" to "oozing bloody pulp" in seconds. Thrust is one thing (she said, cough), but too much in one go isn't going to help the driver inside..

In addition, I hope they have enough space, or it will end up a rerun of Gary Larson's cartoon "when jellyfish travel at speed".

On a positive note, if they manage I'll be very impressed. They could come up with new tech for those space flights..

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Re: Makes me sad

"They can still launch unmanned stuff..."

Like ICBMs...

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Vic
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Re: Makes me sad

> I fear the vehicle may migrate from "manned" to "oozing bloody pulp" in seconds.

You think they haven't calculated the peak acceleration?

Richard Noble does a lot of fast car stuff. Andy Green is a jet pilot. They have many boffins around them who also have experience in this area.

Vic.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Makes me sad

And the satellite Prospero is still up there and still kind of functional as far as I know, although the tape drive threw in the towel pretty early, no-one to clean the heads and rollers maybe? ;) ...

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Mushroom

Good thing it is not at Vernuekpan

It is good that they did not plan it for nearby Verneukpan

Quote: from http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/verneuken

Etymology

From ver- +‎ neuken.

[edit]Verb

verneuken (weak in -t)

(vulgar) to deceive

(vulgar) to fuck up, to screw

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Elephants

Just ran the numbers.

I estimate that the flow rate was approximately 3.48 millielephants per second.

Working: 1 elephant = c. 4.598m^3

1 bath = c. 80l = 0.08m^3

1 bath in 5s = 0.016 m^3/s

=0.00384 elephants/s

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Re: Elephants

Have an up-vote for doing that but I think you were a bit stingy on the water in the bath - obviously on an economy drive.

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Boffin

Re: Elephants

Stingy on the water? With an elephant in the bath there isn't that much room for it.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Coat

Re: Elephants

Don't be daft - everyone knows elephants take showers with their trunks!

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Re: Elephants

I think everyone here is ignoring the hippopotamus in the room!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Elephants

According to Google a medium sized bath has a capacity of 150 litres. If filled in 5 seconds that is 30 litres / second or 0.03 metres³ / second.

So I make that 0.0065 Elephants / Second, 1.2244 x10 ⁻⁷ Albert Halls / Second or 1.793 x10 ⁻¹⁵ P████ ████on's cavernous vaginas per second*.

* I may have made that last one up.

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Re: Elephants

'cavernous vaginas'

Ah they were a fantastic band.

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Re: Elephants

"According to Google a medium sized bath has a capacity of 150 litres."

I'm sad enough to do the calculations, not to do the research properly first.

Searched google for "how much water in a bath", first result was http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_water_does_a_bath_use

First answer was "According to the BBC Website, a bath can hold 80 litres of water."

So I used that.

I don't really care how much water there is in the bath, so long as it's warm, has lots of bubbles, covers me and it all stays in the bath!

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Re: Elephants

If we're talking units, can we have a new one here? If a "jub" is a unit of volume, can we have a "Jubb" as a unit of distance, measured by the tip-to-tip distance for that tash?

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Re: Elephants @ NogginTheNog

Don't be daft - everyone knows elephants take showers in the nude!

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Re: Elephants

Yes, yes - but what is it in football fields?

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Happy

Re: Elephants @Mike Richards

A bit too much reverberation and echo for my taste!

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Boffin

"unique star-shaped rubber fuel grain"

How unique is it? I was under the impression that all compound hybrid rockets had this star shaped chamber in the grain material. Specifically including the hybrid rocket on Burt Rutans Space ship one.

It's designed this way so that as the material burns away the star shape morphs to an enlarged circle but the surface area remains constant throughout the burn, providing nice constant pressure for the nozzle, and hence nice steady thrust.

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Re: "unique star-shaped rubber fuel grain"

I thought Apple owned the right to that

.....waits for court case

....... Apple are slow today

/me runs away

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Anonymous Coward

Coolness check-list

F1 engine - check

Jet engine - check

Big rocket motor - check

Handlebar moustache - check

The only way this record attempt could be any cooler would be if the driver wore a tweed flat-cap and a pair of motorbike goggles.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coolness check-list

Let's just PRAY it doesn't get featured on Top "Wankers" Gear then.

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Re: Coolness check-list

good list, but shouldn't the motorbike goggles be peering through a tiny little windscreen at the fron of an open cockpit?

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Happy

Proud to be British

I say chaps - l've swung it with the Wing Commander to 'borrow' one of the engines from his kite. Why don't we strap it to tricycle and fit an extra rocket for a bit more oomph and see how fast we can make it go?

Brilliant - I can just see them all stood there as he taps his pipe out on the side of the cockpit before getting in, drinking a livener from a silver flask and setting off on this Jolly whiz.

There will be somewhere a black labrador waiting patiently for his master to return.

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Re: Coolness check-list

Yup - good list.

Maybe also a white scarf. You need to wrap it round your face to keep the castor oil out of your gob.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Coolness check-list

And so you can turn your head quickly without letting lots of cold air into your neck region.

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MJI
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Wing Commander.

You do realise that is the current rank of the driver don't you?

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Re: Wing Commander.

Yes he is a Wing Commander

?

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Re: Coolness check-list

They do seem to be missing a shed.

Although 'hardened bunker' might just qualify if they put some flowerpots outside.

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Re: Coolness check-list

If he's got an aircraft hangar as his shed, I'm afraid that beats yours.

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Re: Coolness check-list

uhoh... Lucas electrics....

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And a shirt, tie, and blazer. Brogues optional. Pipe not optional.

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Coat

Elephant in the room

and there was me thinking that for measurement elephants come in buckets

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Re: Elephant in the room

I went to the zoo once, and from what I saw there elephants come in elephants.

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1.6Mega metres per hour!

Or 0.44Km/s in SI units - 440m/s.

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Anonymous Coward

re 'Idyllic Cornwall'....

An aircraft hanger in Newquay?

- you lot are easily satisfied

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Not really a ‘car’, is it?

Am I the only demiGeek out there who thinks this is a pointless waste of effort? I appreciate the endeavour isn't quite as simple as ‘strapping a rocket engine onto wheels and letting rip’ but the functional end result is as good-as.

A ‘car’ entering a land speed record should have directly-powered wheels, at least.

I guess, by that measure, tiny rockets affixed to trims a la Catherine Wheels would count. A lot prettier too.

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Re: Not really a ‘car’, is it?

"Am I the only demiGeek out there who thinks this is a pointless waste of effort?"

Yes :-)

Seriously though, their education program and the number of children they are inspiring to study STEM subjects is not insignificant and makes the whole endeavour significantly more worthwhile than it might otherwise be.

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Re: Not really a ‘car’, is it?

It's been the best part of 60 years since wheel-driven land speed records were relevant, Craig Breedlove broke 500 and 600mph using a jet car in the 50s and 60s, ThrustSSC pushed the record supersonic 15 years ago. You just can't generate enough power for speeds much above 400mph and feed it through the driving wheels because you are limited by the friction coefficient between the wheels and the crumbly lake-bed playa surface. At high speeds the wheels are solid metal or have kevlar bands around them, this does not provide a very high friction coefficient.

BloodhoundSSC is a project designed to enthuse and motivate future engineers and scientists, the land speed record is a "because it's there" thing and in a way is incidental tot he aim of the project.

Richard Noble and Andy Green will, if they succeed, become the holders of at least the 4 highest land speeds ever set under the official rules, they already hold the highest 3.

I have to say that as Andy Green is also an RAF officer that he should be encouraged to grow a moustache to rival Daniel Jobb's!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not really a ‘car’, is it?

My brother reminds me of the memo that went around BAe at the time of the original project to the effect that Richard Noble was to be given no support whatsoever as he might bring them into disrepute. As it is, Noble and Green are ambassadors for British engineering and BAe is in the toilet and, I think, trying to merge with EADS.

It doesn't do any harm to remind the rest of the world that the UK is still a world leader in land vehicle engineering.

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Re: Not really a ‘car’, is it?

Nope, you're not. The whole thing is a fatuous dick-swinging waste of time. So then can build a missile and fire it along the ground. So bloody what?

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WTF?

Re: Not really a ‘car’, is it?

Got any evidence to back up that claim about STEM subjects?

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Re: Not really a ‘car’, is it?

http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/

Suggest that you go look at the website and read up on the schools that are seriously following this project. No you're probably not going to put a 1,000mph car into general production itself, but you will gain insight into any new electromechanical designs, chemistry and material science breakthroughs as a result. And possibly convince a few kids that they don't want to be Wayne Rooney.

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Re: Not really a ‘car’, is it?

"Got any evidence to back up that claim about STEM subjects?"

http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/education

http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/education/education-news

http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/education/topics-use-lessons

http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/education/suggested-projects-students

http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/education/opportunities-engage

http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/education/primary-bloodhound-ssc

http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/education/bloodhoundfe

http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/education/bloodhounduniversity

http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/education/education-ambassador-programme

"Nearly 4,000 schools have registered in the first 18 months of the project"

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Re: Not really a ‘car’, is it?

No, you're not the only one who thinks it.

I've always thought a car should have the power applied via the wheels, otherwise it's a mobile missile test bed or maybe a wingless plane. So what if current technology limits the ability of wheels to transmit the power, necessity is the mother of invention. One spinoff that immediately springs to mind is improved wheel technology for very high speed trains.

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