The land vehicle that will travel more than 1,600 km / h

The race to manufacture the land vehicle that will travel more than 1,600 km / h

A British team is making a car that will reach 1,610km / h. Driven by a jet engine, it wants to become the fastest land vehicle in the world, surpassing the current record of 1,228km / h.

The Bloodhound SSC (SuperSonic Car) will be launched for the first time on a dry lake in South Africa in 2019. But you are ready for your first tests.

Driving the steering wheel will be the pilot of the British Air Force (RAF) Andy Green, one of the people behind this project. He describes how it broke the sound barrier on land.

Bloodhound gave his first roar just in time.

A few months ago, we had agreed to leave the car at Newquay Airport, UK, in late September, to begin “low speed” testing (320 km / h).

As we had anticipated, at 17:20 local time, on 28 September, the EJ200 jet engine started for the first time.

However, the big surprise was that we replace it completely.

Reaching full power was something completely unexpected, even for the Rolls-Royce team that helped with the tests.

Static tests were designed to “give the character” to engine consumption.

It had been designed to give you the right amount of air at 1,400 km / h.

When the car is stationary or traveling very slow (any speed less than 160 km / h is “very slowly”) the consumption is too small to feed the engine with as much air as would be desirable.

That’s why we were sure that the engine would have limited power at low speeds.

Expectation and amazement

“Characterizing” consumption consists of finding out how limited the engine would be.

When I pressed the throttle for the first time, we all expected the engine to have problems and stop.

And I could not believe what I saw when the instruments in the cabin showed their full power in the dry.

Barely daring to wait, I pushed the throttle through the catch to select the minimum reheating … and, of course, it went on smoothly.

Maximum Reheat? Yeah, it worked, too.

After turning off the engine, I went to discuss the results with the rest of the team.

We had spent years discussing the effects of what we hoped would be a limited power. How would this affect our tests? What power will it achieve in the United Kingdom? And in South Africa?

We were so worried about the possible limitations that we even designed the air intake with the option of “auxiliary inputs”. Now they are unnecessary.

One thing I can not figure out is how the car started from the outside because I do not know.

In the cockpit, I could see the instruments moving and feel the wires moving in their steel structure, but I could not hear or feel the overheating.

Outside the car, the story was different.

I asked Mark Elvin, our main mechanical designer, how the rest of the team lived.

Elvin has worked in Formula One and in the aerospace sector, so he knew quite impressive technology.

He struggled to find the words. Finally, he said, “It was amazing, just amazing.”

From Isle of Man to Zambia

Now that we have completed the static tests, we need to do some dynamics – wheels, brakes, steering wheel – to prepare our first public race, on October 26 and 28.

With all this power available, I have to confess that I am excited about what I can offer and at the same time nervous about how to control it.

This land vehicle can become very fast and I have to learn how to handle it in several tests before the big day.

As we prepare the car and the equipment, interest grows everywhere.

In different parts of the world, from a school in Isle of Man, UK, to a rural school in Zambia, they study the project and make their own prototypes.

Our “engineering venture” is really becoming a global event.

The long-term goal of the Bloodhound. is to create an “adventure” that inspires a generation.

It is a reality of life that you can only measure success once something is over, but this looks great.

It has been a fantastic few weeks preparing the start.

Soon we will post new updates our website and new data on this land vehicle to beat the most powerful land speed record ever made.