The Bloodhound SSC is the offspring of the Thrust SSC that set the world land speed record in 1997, RAF pilot Andy Green blasting across the desert at 793 miles per hour. Whereas Thrust SSC was about going supersonic, though, Bloodhound SSC is about encouraging kids to get into science - it's an education project whose main purpose is to entice students to be the next generation of scientists, and it does that by taking kids on the journey of building a land-based vehicle that aims to go 1,000 mph.

And what a vehicle it is, called a mix between a "fast fighter jet, a Formula One car, a spaceship and a boat" by one of its engineers. A few of the intriguing facts: it uses a 600-horsepower race car engine just to turn a pump that sends peroxide to the rocket engine at 1,200 psi; it generates 20 tons of thrust between that rocket and the Eurofighter Typhoon EJ200 engine, needed to overcome the 15 tons of drag it will encounter assuming it gets to 1,050 mph; it takes 15 seconds to get to 100 mph, but another ten seconds - ideally - to reach 1,000 mph. Even the numbers away from the Bloodhound are magnificent: the team decided that on safety grounds there couldn't be any pebble larger than a marble on the desert bed in South Africa where the run will take place, so 6,000 tons of rocks have been removed from an area that wants to be known as the Bonneville of the southern hemisphere.

XCAR spent some time with the team behind the effort, and it's a fascinating watch that you can enjoy in the video below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      rcavaretti
      • 11 Months Ago
      This is a British project, correct? Why are they trying to achieve some speed record in MPH? They don't even use those Fred Flintstone units anymore. And why 1000? Because it's a nice, round number? Instead, double the speed of sound, at least it's a multiple of a natural constant, giving it mathematical and scientific legitimacy, and not just a man-made arbitrary number that looks good on paper.
        Sol
        • 11 Months Ago
        @rcavaretti
        Uh you obviously know noting about the British as they do in fact still use MPH for speed...
        benjamin_braddock
        • 11 Months Ago
        @rcavaretti
        Just because the UK is in the European Union, it doesn't mean that we have moved over to using kilometers. Everything is still measured in miles and mph.
      scott3
      • 11 Months Ago
      The record is recognized in MPH globally. I was lucky to meet Richard Noble a month ago and he is a really interesting guy. He set the record himself and then built the car that broke the sound barrier. This car will go for the record and then for the 1,000 MPH mark. The whole program is designed to ignite interest in Brittan in engineering again. Richard lamented how the country has 10 times the hair dressers than they need but too few engineers. Many companies have to outside the country to find and engineers. Richard pointed out in his youth how he would see many of the new Jet planes and dream of designing them. He also pointed out here in America we had the space program and how it generated a who generation of engineers and advancement. Today even America is short good engineers as so many kids really have not interest in the field. I will be watching with great interest as this will be a project on the scale of the moon program with all the things they have to deal with. Running this fast on the ground is nothing like it is at 50,000 feet. So far many schools in America England and South Africa are building their own model rocket cars and trying to discover ways to make them faster to take the win in the challenge. It has been great to see how they have gotten a lot of Schools involved and kids thinking of things other than Video Games.
      Weiman
      • 11 Months Ago
      So that's a "car". Right..
      Vincent Rice
      • 11 Months Ago
      Beer comes in precise pints - we take this stuff seriously you know.
      citroen_2cv
      • 11 Months Ago
      Wouldn't be easier to clip the wings of the plane and dress the pilot as Dastardly Deadly ?
      diffrunt
      • 11 Months Ago
      Salt flat competition should be wheel driven . clipped wing jets don't prove a cussed thing.
      BipDBo
      • 11 Months Ago
      "Bloodhound SSC is about encouraging kids to get into science - it's an education project whose main purpose is to entice students to be the next generation of scientists" There is a subtle difference between, and a lot of overlap with science and engineering, but this is pretty much purely and engineering project, not a science experiment.
        Doss
        • 11 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        I have to disagree. I am an engineer and think this is both engineering and science. In fact, it's a little hard to do any large engineering project that pushes the known boundaries and involves so may unknowns and untested "hypotheticals" without a large dose of science.