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, …
I know (sort of - related to my wife) one of the education team.
She is always busy, they are at exhibitions.
Got a photo somewhere of my sons next to a Bloodhound exhibition model.
Yes it is inspiring the young, lots of these type of projects did, remember the interest Beagle 2 raise even though it broke?
@ribosome re: "BAe is in the toilet"?
Would this be the BAe that made £1.256 billion profit last year?
Re: Not really a ‘car’, is it?
> So then can build a missile and fire it along the ground. So bloody what?
Well, from an engineering POV, firing a missile along the ground is a lot more difficult than firing one into the air. Engineers like to solve difficult problems like that -- even if they're rather pointless (sometimes especially _because_ they're rather pointless).
Not much point in releasing a paper airplane from 80,000ft either, but it's still cool.
Re: Not really a ‘car’, is it?
>As it is, Noble and Green are ambassadors for British engineering
So following on from strapping a scrap jet engine from a 1950s fighter into a car, they are now strapping a scrap rocket engine from a 1960s SAM into a car.
And this is supposed to how there is a future in engineer? Or just that we have a lot of scrap lying around from we actually did engineering?
Re: @ribosome re: "BAe is in the toilet"?
Yes. So why are they trying to merge with EADS? Because BAe has failed to become larg enough to weather the chill economic winds.
The US DOD is about to cut about $55 billion from its budget, is one reason.
Re: Education (the "Whoa, Cool!" Factor)
This may not be entirely relevant to the subject of the British land speed record vehicle, but...
...I spent most of my boyhood and early adolescence in the '60s and early '70s watching Gemini and Apollo/Skylab missions on TV and, along with about 99% of young American boys at the time, thinking "whoooaaa, cool!"... and, in between Gemini/Apollo missions, got my thrills watching the latest land speed record attempts by Breedlove and Gabelich at Bonneville Flats. Many of those boys of my generation were inspired to take up careers in science and/or engineering; many of them ended up working at places like NASA/Goddard and JPL -- and many of those ended up becoming astronauts themselves.
While I, myself, ended up choosing a career in art and graphic design, I still maintained my interest in science -- especially spaceflight and astronomy -- because of all those boyhood days I spent watching Saturn Vs leaving for the Moon and thinking, "whoooaaa, cool!" Even today, I'll regularly drop everything to watch a Shuttle launch (at least up until the end of the program), or a Soyuz launch to ISS, or an ISS EVA, and thought nothing of sitting up until 4am watching Curiosity land and waiting for it to transmit its first fotos back from Mars.
Re: Not really a ‘car’, is it?
I agree with you.
To call it a land based vehicle, the wheels should be driven by the engine.
This is a rocket with just enough downforce to keep it on a carriage.
Impressive. Noisy. Fast.
But it's not a "car".
Re: Not really a ‘car’, is it?
The word car comes from carriage - a horse drawn vehicle with wheels. The definition of car does not mean the wheels have to be driven by the engine. Just a thought.
Re: wingless plane
One of the clever things about this will be making sure that it doesn't take off.
Anybody would think stuff like this is rocket science!
Oh wait, it is...
Re: Bah Humbug!
Still, it's not exactly brain surgery, is it?
I'm amazed Andy Green can get pants that fit.
Re: Massive testicles
Andy's nickname on the ThrustSSC project was Dead Dog. That was the sort of level of reaction that major emergencies elicited from him, probably because he was used to flying a Tornado ADV at high speeds and could cope with the workload.
Remember that ThrustSSC used rear-wheel steering and was not fully stable in yaw. Andy had to drive using a combination of fast and slow steering impulses to damp out the instability manually while doing all the other things such as monitoring speeds, engine parameters, brake parachutes, deal with overheating on-board computers and hope that the front of the vehicle didn't lift off the ground (there was an inverted ejection seat rocket motor to prevent this, fired by the on-board computer if it sensed the front wheel load drop below a certain threshold.
I watched him talking about the rocket motor test yesterday, he's the personification of calmness and was making a pretty good job of being a physics teacher too.
It's great to see what Britain's engineers and adventurers can achieve when put to the test. No other country has taken as many land speed records over the course of more than 120 years.
Re: Massive testicles
"I watched him talking about the rocket motor test yesterday, he's the personification of calmness and was making a pretty good job of being a physics teacher too."
Brian, was this an actual event in real life, or something you saw online? Sounds interesting!
Re: Massive testicles
Live stream from Cornwall, infrastructure provided by Cisco.
I would have loved to have been there, but was not in the group of people invited to see it live :(
Re: Massive testicles
> Andy's nickname on the ThrustSSC project was Dead Dog.
There is an apocryphal story that the bookies were giving him a 75% chance of dying on ThrustSSC. He is reported to have said he'd take those odds...
True or not, the guy's a smooth operator.
Re: Massive testicles
It's great to see what Britain's engineers and adventurers can achieve when put to the test
This is why I find it sad the UK went towards being a service oriented nation. Some of the most inventive and clever engineering was done in the UK and this ability doesn't just need to be preserved, it needs to be stimulated. And I'm saying this from the POV of a foreigner..
There is something about the quirkiness of the British mind that seems to spark interesting, new ideas (and humour) - please don't let that be lost.
How about you stop pandering the merkins and put only the SI units into such articles from now on?
Yes fuck the fucking Americans and their retarded 1680 AD measuring system/s.
I have a chart on wire gauges - the really, really, really, fine hair thickness, instrument making gauges.....
And fuck me.... there are about 25 fucking gauges and ONLY the METRIC size actually gives the fucking SIZE of the wire.
"Ooooo you mean a #32 Brown and Sharp enameled copper wire is 0.000017 Troy shims thinner than the 63B Western Telephone gauge, which was derived from the French 1766 clock makers spring gauge series, which is 11/315 per degree Bernoulie larger than the Guild of French Polishers, 15th coat layer, on float glass, at 17% Rhineland Humidity - and not the 22% coastal marsh humidity?"
"Ohhhhh so that is just 0.035mm OD? - instead of 0.033mm or 0.038mm OD?"
Fuck I hate American measurements, especially when they do bastardised combinations - like Yard Newtons of Torque, or Feet Pound Rankin Meters etc...
Maybe it's because we live in Britain where most of us use imperial, just as Rolls Royce do. Notice the nice round numbers are the ones bracketed off (these are obviously the original specifications so why aren't the SI conversions bracketed instead?). If you don't like it, go live in France where they use a system that is not based on mathematics but purely on the amount of fingers humans happen to have, merkin.
Except that we live in Britain which has been an officially metric country since the mid 1990s and has in fact been all-metric for science and engineering since the 1970s or early 1980s.
But most of all, assuming the idea is to encourage youngsters into studying STEM subjects, maybe journalists would wake up to the 21st century (or even the 20th) and write articles in the same units as those schoolchildren use - metric ones.
I can at least congratulate El Reg for making less of a Luddite-centric, pro-imperial-units cockup of a story than the BBC just did. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19818009)
And stuff France. Apart from the fact that it was their last pre-revolution king who decided that they would become the first nation actually to use the already 100 year old metric system (invented in Britain), neither the French (nor the E.U) have any claim to it.
If you, 'skirmish' don't like it, go like in the USA where they use a system that is not based on mathematics, nor on the number of fingers humans happen to have, nor on any other rational principle.
The wires are truly awful. Also there's the slug. And the tendency to divide pounds mass by pounds force and cancel them out, thus producing equations with incompatible units on each side.
Imperial units are human centric. The inch is a thumb width. The foot is an average foot length. The moment the ruler was invented, however, they were effectively obsolete. It is not terribly convenient trying to measure the height of a ceiling by walking up the wall.
Rolls-Royce, by the way, is using metric feet (300mm) which are rather a convenient unit for practical building and carpentry (e.g. kitchen units are 600mm wide). It would be rather sensible to have a final unit name change and make the inch 25mm, the foot 300mm, the pound 500g and the pint 500ml, and abolish all the other Imperial units. After all, the old units did vary around the country until mass production got started in the 1800s.
Oh4FS, we 'murricans didn't invent this crap, we inherited it from all around the world. Remember we've only been here a bit over 200 years. I hate it as much as you do, but old habits die really hard.
Try watchmaking - diameter of a watch movement is expressed in "lignes" (pronounced "lines", no not that kind, they didn't have that stuff then), and is some "logical" fraction like 1/37th of a pre-revolution French inch, which was different than any other inch on the planet anyway. The symbol for lignes is ''' (three apostrophes), so you'll see things like "10.5 ''' movement".
(Besides, anyone who hails from someplace that invented Whitworth has *very* little to complain about.)
And there's NO WAY I'd ride in that thing, in fact, I prefer to watch from a very safe distance, probably on TV via a satellite link. Youse guys over in Blighty have something and someone(s) to be proud of in this deal - I wish them luck and continued good health (and I'll donate a couple of sets of earplugs, please provide a mailing address.)
Yesyesyes metric this, SI that.
Of course, if you need to measure real life things the important point is that you get the size right and reproducible, not that you do it in every-decreasing divisions of ten (so useful for those "divide by three" moments in life). Some people are not afraid of hard sums (the simplification of same being the Rasin Debt of SI or you'd still be working in CGS).
Personally, I don't care whether you work in British Thermal Units or Hogshead Newton Seconds to the Minus One (You could get your knuckles rapped for saying "per" at Climategate University in 1975 so all us would-be chemists talked like idiots when doing dimensional analysis).
The fact is, for all the non-engineering purposes this car's thrust can be expressed as "Hucking Fuge" and its speed as "Goes Like Greased Lightning". The only people who need the other sort of measurements are the people working on it and those trying to copy it.
Oh please. The units aren't important in an article, it's getting the meaning of them across that matters. I'm British and I use pounds, miles, feet, and inches because they mean something to me. I have to convert metric to imperial so I can get a sense of what it means. Bloody SI Nazis, you'll have us all going into pubs and asking for a 0.56826125 litre of beer.
...Fuck I hate American measurements, especially when they do bastardised combinations - like Yard Newtons of Torque, or Feet Pound Rankin Meters etc...
Hey, you think you hate American measurements? Think of how I feel. I live here; I'm stuck having to use the goddamn' things every day. A "mile" = 5280 feet? 5280? What idiot came up with that? Do you realize what kind of whacked-ass number that is to have to use in calculations? Don't even get me started on measuring force in foot/pounds. I never did get the hang of that. It still makes my brain explode.
Back when I was in high school, in the early/mid '70s, they tried a big push to convert the USA to metric units, and they were really stressing it in my school, of course. Needless to say, it was a massive Fail; it being the '70s and all, most Americans were all paranoid about a metric changeover meaning they were going to be cheated at the gas pump.
Ironically, the only students at my school who had a decent grasp on metric measurements were the guys I bought my weed from.
A "mile" = 5280 feet? 5280? What idiot came up with that?
They came up with a chain - which was 22 yards (== 1 cricket pitch)
And 10 of those made a furlong (something horses use)
And 8 of those made a mile (which, in human terms, was "a longish way over there").
But don't ask me why....at least I can follow multiplying by 10 each time to do m -> dam -> hm -> km.
Campaign for that next election and I'll vote for you
As a transplanted Brit, nothing makes me miss home more than shopping in an American home improvement store.
- a '2x4' piece of wood is nowhere near 2" x 4". Not remotely close. You never get used to this.
- their machine screws and bolts have ridiculous measurements like "#10 1 1/2". Take a deep sigh and think lovingly about how easy it is to order an M6 bolt in Blighty
- their plumbing supplies are wacky. They love soldered joints and treat compression fittings like the redheaded stepchild. Whoever thought it was a good idea to let weekend warriors loose with a blowtorch in a confined space in wood framed houses? The mind boggles.
On the bright side, they do have some seriously badass power tools.
Re 'FatGerman' above: The units are *utterly* important in an article, and there should only be one set given (S.I in this country). Otherwise, people (our kids even) end up inadvertently memorising something like the melting point of steel (say), only to discover later in life that they'd accidentally memorised the value in Fahrenheit due to some dumb-arse journalist who thought that "the units didn't matter".
And, non sequeteur though it was, no we wouldn't have ourselves or anyone else "going into pubs and asking for a 0.56826125 litre of beer". Since when (outside a university chemistry lab) would you ever expect someone to be able to measure any fluid to the nearest 10nL? What we might expect is to order a nice sensible 500mL, expecting to be served with any random value between about 490 and 510mL (i.e plus or minus a spoonfull or two).
My wife taught math in an alternative high school and her students had no problem with mass when she covered the metric system.
These are gauges from private companies and have nothing to do with US standard units (the only one I know is AWG). Here in the UK we have standard wire gauge which is, unless you're a complete moron, easy to use. Our none linear number and letter drill sizes come into their own for many specific jobs too. Metric and imperial is like comparing Esperanto to English. The former is so basic that it's often more difficult to use than the latter (though the latter does take longer to learn). I know which language I'd rather speak.
Anyway, go to the DSGB site (Dozonal Society of GB) should be of interest...You'll soon be seeing those toe counting measures and our archaic counting system in a different light. Base 10 isn't the best mathematically (and just think, the French nearly gave us the 100 degree right angle!..now that would have been interesting.)
And who says we are officially metric? The fact remains that most of us use imperial - official or not, that is the reality (and a good reason I won't be going to the USA). Secondly, I can't see Britain (if it did invent the metric system??) placing the 10,000,000 quadrant from the equator to pole...through Paris!
12, 36, 5280...Just some well thought out bases from the imperial system...Not mathematical, indeed...
If you can't see twelve for instance as being rational, I suggest you get a primer book in maths.
Up until the 16th century the mile was 5000 feet. That might seem more logical at first sight, until you get on your calculator and see how dividable 5280 is. It's a truly mathematical number!
> paranoid about a metric changeover meaning they were going to be cheated at the gas pump.
It's not necessarily paranoia when it's true...
We changed our petrol pumps from Imperial to Metric, and sure enough, fuel prices soared :-(
Who works on this project?
Are they the Bloodhound Gang?
Re: Who works on this project?
You could say that.
Ron Ayres, the aerodynamicist, who designed BloodhoundSSC's basic shape, and ThrustSSC's basic shape was one of the people working on the Bloodhound SAM in the 1950s/60s, so has a long pedigree working with supersonic devices and is a bloody smart bloke to boot.
Only 1 elephant
But first you must stick a large cork up his arse then feed him a many barrels of beans and tofu. Then stand very far away to the side ... definiately not behind.
Can we have a much larger Union flag on the car please?!
"equivalent to holding a large family car on the palm of your hand,"
I recall the quote being several cars on his hand. 600psi is 42kgf/cm^2 and he said his hand was 1/100th of a sq metre, so 100cm^2 = 4.2t. Or roughly one elephant.
Re: "equivalent to holding a large family car on the palm of your hand,"
They actually ran at 16,600 rpm yesterday, and had a pump exit pressure of a bit over 800psi.
That translates into about 4 family cars resting on his hand.
I was delighted to see that the thermal camera and then eventually everything else too failed either during or just after the run. The estimated acoustic level inside the HAZ was 185dBA which is way beyond the fatal level for a human being and clearly shook either their cameras or wiring (or both) to bits. As Andy Green said, they need to know what stresses to design sensors to tolerate on the real car and this gave them the data they needed to start on that process.
Why the car engine?
Silly question - why is there an F1 internal combustion engine used as a pump? Is it to provide energy / shaft for a real pump? Or is there a way it's actually used "as" a pump?
I'm a bit confused by that part - I understand coolness, just not sure why an F1, a highly specialized expensive piece of equipment, is used fo rseemingly mundane function that may have superior solutions?
Re: Why the car engine?
It drives the pump that forces the HTP into the rocket. 30l/sec at a pressure of up to 1100 lb/ft sq ( or whatever that is in pascals) takes a lot of power. An F1 engine is a good, light, compact power source that can deliver that power, not sure what else could do that job.
Re: Why the car engine?
It needs to be easily controllable too. One way of supplying the oxidiser is to use some of the HTP to drive the turbo-pump via a turbine. The problem is that it isn't as easily controllable whereas the CA2010 engine is and is already developed. The Bloodhound team didn't need to design and debug an 850hp turbo-pump and its control system.
It's also great publicity for Cosworth who don't just make racing engines these days but get involved in all sorts of precision engine/engineering work.
Ok, I suppose it has to be said...
Surely the title to the article should have read something like "Jubb's Thruster ...". With great deference to Andy Green, the driver, one hopes something like: "Can driver handle Jubb's Thruster?"! ... fnarr fnarr
Go Wing Commander Green ! That should brighten up 2013 with no Olympics.
"...when pilot Andy Green takes the controls at the Hakskeen Pan dry lake bed in South Africa next year"
Biggest rocket fired in the UK for 20 years?
I thought the Top Gear Reliant rocket would have been bigger?
I keep coming up with .006644 Elephants Per Second
Given average bath size of 50 gallons or .1512m^3 of water, a rough estimate of 4.7m^3 for the size of an elephant, making a bath the equivalent of .03217 elephants. Dividing by 5 for seconds gives us .006644 elephants per second.
Peenemünde: 3rd October 1942
Another rocket is fired...
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