back to article The UK's super duper 1,000mph car is being tested in Cornwall

The 1,000mph (1,609 kmph) Bloodhound supersonic car is undergoing its first test runs at Newquay Airport in Cornwall later today. Whizzing up and down the 2,744-metre runway, the Bloodhound car is planned to reach speeds of up to 200mph (322kmph). The car, built in Bristol over the last eight years by a group of enthusiastic …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Beware break failure.

    Cornwall, Devon and half of Somerset.

    1. Freakyfeet

      Re: Beware break failure.

      That joke would have worked much better if you'd have spelled "brake" correctly

      D minus - must try harder

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Beware break failure.

        That joke would have worked much better if you'd have spelled "brake" correctly

        Dammit. Have an upvote.

        1. Charlie van Becelaere

          Re: Beware break failure.

          Not to worry, Doctor Syntax; we're just arguing semantics (or orthography).

      2. Tikimon Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: Beware break failure.

        What, no appreciation of a possible pun? The brakes break, leading to failure. Many jokes rely on technically-incorrect spelling.

        Just sayin'...

      3. Adam 1 Silver badge

        Re: Beware break failure.

        <pedantHat>His spelling of break was perfectly correct. His problem was in choosing the wrong word.</pedantHat>

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Beware break failure.

      Ashley the runway would just result in Cornwall, Sea. Though you may be able to lean it and still get to Faro faster than by plane.

  2. Alex Masters

    40 lires/sec of HTP?

    That's quite a fuel pump - a minimum of 280Kw if it's the 5 litre non-supercharged Jag AJV8

    1. PickledAardvark

      Re: 40 lires/sec of HTP?

      Cosworth designed Formula Junior, F3 and F2 engines for a period before the DFV engine which became the heart of 3 litre Formula One in the 1970s. USA independents, VPJ, suggested to Cosworth that a 2.8 litre turbocharged DFV might work. Cosworth responded that the engine required fuel at a rate greater than an English bath tap. The DFX worked.

    2. moopy

      Re: 40 lires/sec of HTP?

      It's the 550HP Supercharged one

      http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/project/car/engines/auxiliary-power-unit

      'king awesome!

  3. fishman

    Aircraft w/ no wings

    It's basically a jet aircraft with no wings so it can't take off. Or at least take off and do sustained flight.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Aircraft w/ no wings

      It definitely does have some sort of wings, to very carefully stop it taking off or pressing into the ground too hard. At those speeds, I'm sure it can fly without additional control surface area?

    2. MNDaveW

      Re: Aircraft w/ no wings

      Or... a rocket powered aircraft? ME263?

      1. annodomini2

        Re: Aircraft w/ no wings

        ME163 I think you mean

        ME163

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Aircraft w/ no wings

          ME163 I think you mean

          And even that one, while rocket-powered, had wings. Sufficiently so to allow gliding back to earth once the fuel had run out; not having them would result in the flight characteristics of a streamlined brick.

        2. Flatpackhamster

          Re: Aircraft w/ no wings

          He was right to mention the 263. The Me163 didn't have wheels. The Me263 was a 163 with wheels. Never got past the prototype stage but would probably have been a more effective fighter and certainly less lethal to its own pilots than the 163 was, since it had a tendency to explode on landing.

    3. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Aircraft w/ no wings

      Pretty sure there *will* be wings; upside down ones. And that's fine in Cornwall, but Shirley if they are running this for real in SA, they'll need to have the upside down wings installed upside down to avoid takeoff.

    4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Aircraft w/ no wings

      It's basically a jet aircraft with no wings

      Or, as I remarked to t'missus last night - "a rocket sledge that someone has stuck wheels on".

  4. JDX Gold badge

    Cool, but why?

    Is there some useful scientific stuff here that I don't get? I'm all for the challenge for it's own sake but typically these things feed into more efficient planes/cars/engines whereas in this case I'm not sure if it's the case? Are there areas it advances our understanding I'm not seeing? If they succeed, do we then aim for a 1500mph car or will people get bored if there are no applications to "strap a jet on the back of a car"?

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Cool, but why?

      The bloke behind it recons that 1000mph is about the fastest you can go on land "without science getting in the way".

      I was surprised when I saw the headline elsewhere - 200mph? My car's limited to 155, so 200 can't be the record. Then I realised they were going for a 200mph potter about, which is quite mental.

    2. Ian Bush
      Megaphone

      Re: Cool, but why?

      From http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/project

      "The BLOODHOUND Project is a global Engineering Adventure, using a 1,000mph World Land Speed Record attempt to inspire the next generation to enjoy, explore and get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics."

      Go and see one of their presentations. They are bloody brilliant.

      1. CheesyTheClown Silver badge

        Re: Cool, but why?

        So, the answer is... no... there is no why. They simply justify it as being cool.

        I’m like the guy who asked... I think it sounds nifty. It was have been much cooler if there was an application. Of course, I believe that the “before science gets in the way” argument is crap. To suggest that :

        A) Getting to 1000MPH doesn’t require piles of science is silly. There is propolsion, aerodynamics, chemistry, etc... involved here already. This project wouldn’t stand a chance without tons of science.

        B) 1000MPH is a ridiculous arbitrary number. If this were ancient Egypt, we’d claim an arbitrary number of cubits, elsewhere leagues, in civilization kilometers, etc... 1000MPH is of no particular scientific or engineering significance. Has any physicist ever calculated that 1000MPH is when an object must leave the ground? Did we decide a mile should be one thousandth of a magic number that is when things can’t be on the ground?

        All this really did was prove that you can lay a rocket on its side and with the right structure and right shape, it would stick to the ground and hopefully go straight.

        Oh... let’s not forget that it glorifies insane amounts of waste. I am generally horrified by stuff like this.

        Now, a 1000MPH electric maglev or 1000MPH fuel cell powered EM pulse engine... that would be cool. But glorifying a sideways metal phalice with incredible thrust that ejects massive amounts of liquid while pushing so hard it bypasses friction that once depleted causes it to sputter out and become limp... I must admit these guys... brilliant or not are more than a little scary.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Cool, but why?

          The actual quote (from the Telegraph) was:

          The rocket engineer explained that the 1,000 mph target came about after he calculated that it was the " physical limit you can reach on land" before "science becomes a barrier".

          I assume it's not bang on 1000mph, but around there. Obviously getting to that speed requires a lot of sciencing, but I think his point was that if you go much faster everything goes skewiff

          eg: is it even possible to design wheels that can take the temperature caused by air friction at those speeds?

          A waste? Come off it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cool, but why?

            "The rocket engineer explained that the 1,000 mph target came about after he calculated that it was the " 'hysical limit you can reach on land" before "science becomes a barrier".'

            Andy Green explaiend this on the R4 Today program this morning ... the calculations indicated that at around 1000mph thinbgs start to get a lot more complicated so "we aim to build a 1000mph car" seemed like a good publicity target for the project ... some how I think "we aim to build a car that should be able to reach 983.6mph and possibly a few mph higher"

          2. Big John Silver badge

            Re: Cool, but why?

            > "eg: is it even possible to design wheels that can take the temperature caused by air friction at those speeds?"

            It's not air friction, it's rotational stresses and vibrations caused by track surface irregularities. They tend to the extreme at those speeds.

            1. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

              Re: Cool, but why?

              "It's not air friction, it's rotational stresses and vibrations caused by track surface irregularities. They tend to the extreme at those speeds."

              Don't forget the top of the wheel will be travelling at twice the speed of the car (while the part in contact with the ground will be at zero velocity). Air friction at 2000mph would be significant I think, although you're right about the extreme stresses.

            2. Mark 85 Silver badge

              @Big John -- Re: Cool, but why?

              That's also beyond the "speed of sound" territory which also has its stresses and dynamics involved.

          3. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

            Re: Cool, but why?

            "eg: is it even possible to design wheels that can take the temperature caused by air friction at those speeds?"

            A more interesting engineering challenge is designing wheels that can hold together at more than 50,000 rpm.

            1. Colin Wilson 2

              Re: Cool, but why?

              According to their website the maximum rotational speed at 1050mph is 10304 r.p.m

              The wheels have a diamter of 900mm, so my fag-packet maths seems to support this:

              1050mph = 469m/s = 166 revs/sec = 9960 r.p.m

              Still bloody quick though!

        2. Ian Bush

          Re: Cool, but why?

          "So, the answer is... no... there is no why. They simply justify it as being cool."

          Getting kids excited by science, bringing on the next generation of technologists, finding the engineers of the future is "no why"?

        3. Adam 1 Silver badge

          Re: Cool, but why?

          > 1000MPH is a ridiculous arbitrary number. If this were ancient Egypt, we’d claim an arbitrary number of cubits, elsewhere leagues, in civilization kilometers, etc... 1000MPH is of no particular scientific or engineering significance.

          You must be fun at parties.

          I'll grant you that many cultures throughout history would have no concept of how fast 1000MPH is, but it is easy enough to convert it to the globally and time understood 0.0149% of the maximum velocity of a sheep in a vacuum.

        4. Graham 25

          Re: Cool, but why?

          Lets put it this way - sicen the Rocket car Challenge hit schools, takeup of STEM subjects has rocketed and is an unqualified success.

          In the 60's the Apollo programme drove takeup.

          70's and early 80's it was the Space Shuttle.

          Since then, nothing. Just a decline as kids had nothing to inspire them.

          Bloodhound has turned that around.

          Sorry, but most of your post while well intentioned is ignorant BS. If you truly are 'horrified' then you really are a snowflake.

        5. PNGuinn Silver badge
          Boffin

          "If this were ancient Egypt, we’d claim an arbitrary number of cubits"

          But it isn't. It's elReg.

          WE claim an arbitrary number of Brontosauri, perfectly smooth ones, mind you.

          AND - WE DEMAND the bugger FLY.

          Or we'll stick with sharks with frikkin lasers.

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Cool, but why?

        Go and see one of their presentations. They are bloody brilliant.

        And and inspiration for the younger generation, as is this chap:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKHz7wOjb9w

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsXWspo5hrc

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1EHZPjLNHk

        Scale up the goal (and the budget) and you have Bloodhound.

        I hope Colin Furze was invited along for the event

    3. PerlyKing
      Facepalm

      Re: Cool, but why?

      http://lmgtfy.com/?q=bloodhound+project

    4. Killfalcon Bronze badge

      Re: Cool, but why?

      Primarily, it's a recruiting tool for UK mechanical engineering: it's one of those "catch the imagination" things that gets kids to think "I wanna do that when I grow up", get them into the field at large. There's also an advertising effect for UK engineering at large.

      We also learn stuff that might come in handy if down the line in other applications: think about the stresses the 'airframe', the wheels, even the bearings are under: some of that will come up elsewhere (Say, if the Hyperloop turns out to be a real thing, or we ever get around to building any sort of Launch Assist thing like an orbital elevator or a launch loop).

      But that's a distraction. Really, this is a "engineering is awesome" piece that promotes the sponsors, gets attention on UK engineering, and prods kids towards a career in engineering.

      1. Gareth79

        Re: Cool, but why?

        The education aspect was a key part of the plan as a hook to get public funding and support.

        The team would have done it purely for the challenge anyway (like climbing a mountain, "it was there") but they clearly enjoy that it's helping encourage children into STEM education, and pushing schools into teaching younger children at a more advanced level than before.

    5. Mark #255

      Re: Cool, but why?

      I'm not a rocket-car scientist, but it appears that it's pushing engineering and materials science to their limits, as well as instrumentation & feedback systems.

      All those things tend to trickle down into mainstream use.

    6. Nik 2
      Go

      Re: Cool, but why?

      Outreach and encouraging youngsters to see STEM subjects as cool and exciting is a big part of it.

      "See our 1000mph car! Become n engineer and you can build a 1000mph car to encourage the /next/ generation"

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cool, but why?

      Because they can.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: Cool, but why?

        I am certainly going to show this to my kids, if they haven't found it already. One is definitely into engineering and will love the outrageous fuel pump, all by itself, the other is more into football, but can be impressed by other things

        1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

          Re: Cool, but why?

          "the outrageous fuel pump"

          The stage 1 engines of the Saturn V had much more outrageous fuel pumps than that.

          Five F1 engines. Each had a fuel pump. Each fuel pump ate 55,000 horsepower.

      2. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
        Go

        Re: Cool, but why?

        Yes, they can, build a prototype. Producing and selling in volume to save the British automotive industry is not yet in the can.

    8. AndyS

      Re: Cool, but why?

      I think the (very real) engineering challenge was to create a super-sonic land vehicle. All previous supersonic vehicles have been firmly in the air. Solving engineering challenges like that almost always have knock-on effects in terms of general increase in understanding of physics.

      However, since that was achieved with Thrust SSC, I'm not sure exactly what science will be advanced by this incremental speed increase.

      Bloody exciting though, I'll give them that!

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @JDX: Re: Cool, but why?

      JDX,

      look matey boy (I assume you are a chap), it's not that complicated, because this research thing can inspire all kind of whizzy progress and new ideas.

      My fabby spouse and some esteemed colleagues did some physics-y research a while ago[!], and do you know what came out of the other end? - modern radiotherapy treatment.

      So why don't you try a bit of imagination, you never know where it might take you...

      Anon as she doesn't like publicity, which I think is very Britishly modest eh?

  5. rmason Silver badge

    Love them

    I love things like this, but it's not a "car" is it. I'm not sure exactly how one defines a "car" but i'm sure things like this fall outside of every definition.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Love them

      You would think that a car is only a car if all its thrust is applied through the driven wheels, wouldn't you?

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        Re: Love them

        Indeed, however there are now (and has been for quite some time) separate land speed record for vehicles with thrust engines, such as this, and vehicles where the power is delivered through the wheels, currently held by the Vesco Turbinator.

        1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

          Re: Love them - additional

          No where in the land speed record does it specify "car", although funnily enough, motorcycles are defined. It just has to be a vehicle that can set the speed while on the ground (essentially)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Love them

          vehicles where the power is delivered through the wheels, currently held by the Vesco Turbinator.

          Which is twice as fast as the Tesco Verbinator.

        3. Giles C

          Re: Love them

          An American group is planning on breaking the land speed record for a wheel driven car, they are aiming for 550mph.

          Have a search for target 550 www.target550.com

          1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Love them

            Car:

            Originally a contraction of 'Motorised Carriage'.

            It's a carriage of a sort.

            It's motorised in a way.

            Its a car.

            It's also rather a lot of FUN

      2. rmason Silver badge

        Re: Love them

        Knowing us El reg folk we could probably argue about the definition of a car all day, but yes, something like that.

        I'm just not sure you can squeeze something like this into any sort of definition of "car" that would be accepted by most people.

        Amazingly cool, never been a car.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Love them

          "Knowing us El reg folk we could probably argue about the definition of a car all day"

          If its a car then ElReg readers should be able to reference it in some "tedious^h^h^h^h^h^hamusing" example of why linux/osx/android/ios/windows is better than windows/linux/osx/android/ios

    2. PerlyKing
      Facepalm

      Re: Love them

      "I'm not sure exactly how one defines a "car" but i'm sure things like this fall outside of every definition."

      I'm fairly sure that Green, Noble et al will have checked with Guinness, the FIM and other record-awarding bodies what their definition of "car" is.

      The land-speed record hasn't been held by a wheel-driven vehicle since the 1960s.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Love them

        "The land-speed record hasn't been held by a wheel-driven vehicle since the 1960s."

        No, they've all been low-flying aircraft records since then. That's low as in zero altitude.

        What is the current record for a wheel-driven vehicle?

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: Love them

          'What is the current record for a wheel-driven vehicle?'

          If only there was some way of searching a massive cross-section of the world's knowledge base to find out. I think the first person to come up with a way of doing that could make a fortune.

          In the meantime I'd guess at about 439MPH.

          1. John G Imrie Silver badge

            I think the first person to come up with a way of doing that could make a fortune

            Not sure about that, sounds complicated, I think it will take four or five attempts before it works properly.

            1. MrZoolook

              Re: I think the first person to come up with a way of doing that could make a fortune

              :I think the first person to come up with a way of doing that could make a fortune

              Not sure about that, sounds complicated, I think it will take four or five attempts before it works properly.

              ===

              That kind of instability will likely be an additional non-essential part of normal operating capacity... I think we should call it something now to help identify it.

              Lets call it Java.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Love them

      There's a very tight definition of car that this fits. A while ago someone tried the land speed record in a 3 wheeler and ended up having to split the from into two very closely spaced wheels to fit in with the rules.

    4. Def Silver badge

      Re: Love them

      Car, noun - a self-propelled road vehicle designed to carry passengers.

      As cool as this may be, calling it a car is pushing it a bit.

      As an aside, what sort of mileage does it get?

      1. Vinyl-Junkie
        Headmaster

        Re: Love them

        "Car, noun - a self-propelled road vehicle designed to carry passengers"

        Really? So what's the word that describes single-seater racing vehicles then? I always thought it was "car, however on your definition they fail on two counts; they're not road vehicles and they're not designed to carry passengers...

        1. Def Silver badge

          Re: Love them

          ...however on your definition they fail on two counts...

          Not my definition. That's what the dictionary says.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Love them

          "and they're not designed to carry passengers..."

          There are, and have been in the past, many road legal cars that are single seaters, not to mention most race cars such as F1 and the rest of the Formula [n|x] races.

      2. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: Love them

        'Car, noun - a self-propelled road vehicle designed to carry passengers.'

        So the thing I've got with two wheels that can carry passengers and is self-propelled, that's a car right?

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        @Def -- Re: Love them

        As an aside, what sort of mileage does it get?

        If you have to ask, you can't afford it. But back of the envelope is something along the lines of "barrels per mile".....

    5. JamesPond
      Thumb Up

      Re: Love them

      I don't think they are aiming a the car speed record, but land-speed record, which I guess means any vehicle that has one or more wheels in touch with the earth, driven by the wheels or pushed by a rocket / jet engine. Even Malcolm Campbell's 'Blue bird' from the 1930's wouldn't be considered a normal car.

  6. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge
    Joke

    Missed Opportunity...

    "The car, built in Bristol over the last eight years by a group of enthusiastic engineers, will make two runs to test the Bloodhound team's operating procedure"

    How could you not refer to them as "The Bloodhound Gang"?

  7. Aaiieeee
    Coat

    1000mph is all very well but when you are stuck in stationary traffic on the M25 you will feel a bit silly, especially at 40lt/s fuel usage.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      No problem, at that speed you just aim for the pot holes and you'll fly over the traffic.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not as silly as the person who's sat in the queue behind your exhaust.

      1. Ol' Grumpy

        "Not as silly as the person who's sat in the queue behind your exhaust."

        Who is now presumably a large pile of ash! ;)

  8. MJI Silver badge

    Genuine rocket scientist as well

    Ron Ayers

  9. John G Imrie Silver badge
    Happy

    Saw this on the news this morning

    They are having to plan their runs to dodge the incoming and outgoing planes using the same runway.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Saw this on the news this morning

      Spoilsports! Why can't they race them? It would give the passengers something to scream talk about...

    2. JamesPond
      Thumb Down

      Re: Saw this on the news this morning

      "They are having to plan their runs to dodge the incoming and outgoing planes using the same runway."

      Guess the news was wrong then as they've closed the runways. Look at the YouTube live feed.

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Saw this on the news this morning

        What, fake news?

    3. swm
      Go

      Re: Saw this on the news this morning

      Bloodhound 1 cleared to taxi.

      1. PNGuinn Silver badge
        Joke

        Bloodhound 1 cleared to taxi.

        Uber are involved? Cheep fairs then. Ducks.

  10. Martin hepworth

    Built buy??

    Alot of the fabrication has been done by the UK military Engineer regiments.

    Designed my volunteers certainly.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Built buy??

      Amazing, in under 20 words you managed to spell "by" incorrectly two times*, but nailed it once!

      * Or maybe you have volunteers, and you, er, "designed" them. I suppose you can count children as (usually unwilling) designed volunteers. Looking at many kids, I think their parents might have been drunk whilst designing them but I digress

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Built buy??

      Aerodynamic design by Swansea University! Yay! Go Jacks! #MWGA

    3. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Built buy??

      'A lot of the fabrication has been done by the UK military Engineer regiments.'

      Doesn't mean they didn't volunteer to build it, or are you saying they were paid to do it?

  11. Daedalus Silver badge

    A manned missile?

    Let's face it, the pilot is not really going to be in control in any meaningful sense. And that brings up a point: there are a lot of ideas - powered fighting suits etc. - that put a human being in a situation where you find that a lot of dead weight is there to protect the occupant. The thing would function better if you took the human and all the associated paraphernalia out, operating the thing remotely instead, or even running it automatically. This is why drones are becoming so "popular" with the military - fly them to the limit of machine endurance, not human, and eliminate all those safety features that add weight and reduce range etc.

    1. Brian Morrison

      Re: A manned missile?

      If you did that then it wouldn't count for the Land Speed Record.

      Believe me, Andy Green will be in control of BloodhoundSSC all the way, he was a very great part of the reason for the successful ThrustSSC campaign in the mid 1990s.

  12. Paul Johnston
    Mushroom

    WTF

    If you watch the youtube link they have people from Oracle there!

    They use raspberry pi's feeding to the Oracle cloud.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why so called?

    I've had a quick look, but cant find the answer : Why Bloodhound? I'm not a massive expert on doggies, but Bloodhounds and renown for the sniffing, rather than their speed. Perhaps 'Greyhound' might have had American Bus connotations, so not using that is understandable. How about calling it 'Mick the Miller'? Or perhaps Whippet?

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Why so called?

      Well, there was a UK built Bloodhound ground-to-air missile some years ago.

      Or it keeps its nose to the ground?

      I was always amused when I passed the base near Huntingdon of Whippet Coaches.

      1. Brian Morrison

        Re: Why so called?

        Yes. Ron Ayers, the aerodynamicist for both Thrust SSC and Bloodhound SSC worked on the Bloodhound missile in the 1950s so the name is a reference to that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why so called?

          "Yes. Ron Ayers,....."

          Many thanks Brian, you are a search engine, and no mistake.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Why so called?

      Whippet? Whippet good?

      With apologies to Devo...

  14. Daedalus Silver badge

    Ignorant plonker?

    Why to UK commentators adopt that "I know nothing about anything and that's just fine" attitude? I suppose it's better than "I don't know anything but I'm going to pretend I do" (copyright James Burke Esq.).

    Isn't it?

  15. chivo243 Silver badge

    Darwin Moment Ahead?

    I'm reminded of the guy who strapped a rocket to his chevy and ended up in a mountain side somewhere in the American southwest... but that was just a hoax...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y92NgQxg8BQ

  16. Chris Long

    "the man who literally drove through the sound barrier"

    <facepalm>

    1. TitterYeNot

      "the man who literally drove through the sound barrier"

      I have less of problem with that than with the fact that apparently he 'literally' drove into the record books, presumably there was a big pile of them deposited carelessly at the end of the test track for him to ram into...

  17. wolfetone Silver badge
    Coat

    I bet my 19 year old Toyota Corolla could match it.

    Going down a hill.

    Or off a cliff.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Off a cliff and with rocket assistance, maybe. But you'd need a very tall cliff, or lots of rockets.

      Also, to qualify for these speed records, the same vehicle is required to perform the journey in reverse within an hour. It's possible this may present a few problems for your Corolla...

      I suggest you get sponsorship from a manufacturer of Gaffer tape. That'll fix anything.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Also, to qualify for these speed records, the same vehicle is required to perform the journey in reverse within an hour. It's possible this may present a few problems for your Corolla."

        A big spring at the bottom. A VERY big spring.

        1. BoldMan

          Or a very strong bungee cord

        2. TonyHoyle

          Strap a couple of SRBs to the corolla and point it directly upwards. It'll easily get to 1000mph then shortly do the same journey in reverse.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Also, to qualify for these speed records, the same vehicle is required to perform the journey in reverse within an hour."

        I think you mean in the opposite direction on the same course. Given the aerodynamics necessary, trying it "in reverse" would probably be entertaining but not productive.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Given the aerodynamics necessary, trying it "in reverse" would probably be entertaining but not productive.

          In the late 1970's there was a Dutch TV programme with the 'racing in reverse' theme. Given the abundance of cheap, to-be-scrapped, Daf cars[0] back then, there was ample fodder for those races. Some of them are on YouTube ("achteruitrij race"), so you can judge the 'entertaining' bit for yourself.

          [0] with their jarretelle drive[1] they could theoretically go as fast in reverse as forward. It's just that steering behaviour spoils things a bit, unless you don't care much for rolling your car.

          [1] Variomatic, officially.

          1. Brian Morrison

            ThrustSSC used rear-wheel steering for aerodynamic reasons, it worked but it caused a few problems. Andy Green had to drive while inputting two different steering movement frequencies (fast and slow) and also deal with the need to steer in reverse to begin a correction and then reverse the input again.

            Andy Green is quite simply an amazing bloke, naturally he has the ability to think ahead of the car because that's what flying fast jets does for you.

      3. Baldrickk Silver badge
        Joke

        the same vehicle is required to perform the journey in reverse within an hour

        but, arn't most vehicles slower in reverse?

        What are they going to do, turn the engines around?

      4. PNGuinn Silver badge
        Joke

        Reverse?

        "Also, to qualify for these speed records, the same vehicle is required to perform the journey in reverse within an hour. It's possible this may present a few problems for your Corolla..."

        I suggest that it might be slightly more plausible for a Toyota Corolla to reverse back up a cliff than that thing to do 200 mph backwards. That'd be some draft deflector!

    2. JamesPond

      Terminal velocity

      Felix Baumgartner reached a terminal velocity of 834mph but the air was thin, falling from an altitude of 128,000 feet. So I doubt your less than aerodynamic Corolla could match that, even off a very tall cliff.

    3. PNGuinn Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Pfft

      Issigonis would fart in its general direction.

      ISTR that a couple of Kiwi nutters got an ancient mini (the real one) up to over 250 mph on the Utah salt flats not so long ago.

      For a bet.

      "Slightly modified" 1300 A series engine destroked to 1 litre I think.

  18. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Fingers crossed for all their runs

    otherwise the term "terminal velocity" might get a different meaning

    Big thumbs up for the attempt

  19. vonBureck
    Flame

    Just don't let Richard Hammond drive...

    ... well, unless you want to get rid of him (see icon for his employment history).

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: Just don't let Richard Hammond drive...

      I'll give Hammond some kudos in that getting fans to donate to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance after his rocket propelled crash significantly reduced the time needed to buy their second helicopter.

  20. M E H
    Thumb Up

    Science and Engineering for the hell of it

    The purpose of Bloodhound is to push the boundaries of what is possible and is known.

    In other words - Why do it? Because we can't (yet).

    For example - we know that we can fly aircraft at very high speeds but the air kind of gets out of the way. What happens to soil at when something is running over it at 1000mph? No one knows whether the shockwave from the supersonic air will pulverise the ground or not because no one has done it before.

    How do you create wheels of the necessary size that rotate that fast without them disintegrating from centripetal forces? This will have applications in other machines.

    1. Brian Morrison

      Re: Science and Engineering for the hell of it

      ThrustSSC created a shockwave that pulverised the surface of the Black Rock desert in Nevada, it was one of the reasons why they stopped after getting past Mach 1, the wheels were rotating much more slowly than they should have been and the structure of the car was being pounded by the supersonic flow and the acoustic energy from the RR Speys at close range. Some of the team wanted to put in the more powerful Spey 205 engines but it was decided that the risks were getting larger and it didn't make sense to ruin the very good safety record that had been built up.

      BloodhoundSSC is a much different design, whereas ThrustSSC had a flat bottom across quite a broad part of the fuselage the newer car has less of itself close to the ground giving more space for the shockwaves to dissipate.

  21. David Roberts Silver badge
    Trollface

    Makes HS2 seem a bit of a slug.

    Think of the money you could save the economy if you could travel from London to Edinburgh in around 24 minutes.

    Have a struggle drinking your coffee though.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Makes HS2 seem a bit of a slug.

      "Have a struggle drinking your coffee though."

      If you can't survive a 24 minute journey without a coffee fix, you have bigger problems :-)

  22. Atomic Duetto

    Photobucket are vandals (of history)

    There was a brilliant build thread started by one of the lead engineers on Pistonheads... Unfortunately photobucket has gobbled all the glorious photos describing in detail all the bits that were created to build it..

    https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=23&t=1352985&i=0

  23. Andytug

    Richard Noble's book "Thrust" is well worth a read...

    Particularly the bit where they ran the numbers for Thrust 2 through a CFD (fluid dynamics computer) in later years, not available at the time, and found that not only were Ron Ayers' figures spot on, but if it had gone even slightly faster than the 633mph (?) it got up to, it would have taken off upwards. At something like 45G.

    Which is why they do everything in small steps.....

    1. Brian Morrison

      Re: Richard Noble's book "Thrust" is well worth a read...

      Thrust 2 reached a peak speed of slightly under 651mph, as you say the CFD predicted that the car would have flipped if it had gone 6mph faster which is lucky because before the record run they had cranked up the front suspension by literally thousandths of an inch to get a higher peak speed.

      ThrustSSC learned from this, they had a Martin-Baker rocket pack installed inverted ahead of the cockpit. If the front wheel loads had dropped below a pre-set value then the rockets would have fired to use 4,000lb of thrust to keep the nose down, followed by jacking up the tail suspension and releasing the brake parachutes to abort the run. When you hear the "armed" and "safe" calls on the radio these refer to the arming switch for the abort system which includes the rocket pack.

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