Bloodhound SSC

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Bloodhound SSC
Bloodhound SSC project logo.PNG
Logo of the project and image of the vehicle
Manufacturer Bloodhound Programme Ltd
Assembly Bloodhound Technical Centre, Bristol
Body and chassis
Class Land speed record vehicle
Engine Rolls-Royce Eurojet EJ200 afterburning turbofan
Nammo HTP hybrid rocket
Jaguar Land Rover V8 engine (HTP pump)
Wheelbase 8.9 m (29 ft)
Length 12.9 m (42 ft)
Width 2.5 m (8.2 ft)
Height 3.0 m (9.8 ft)
Kerb weight 6,422 kg (14,158 lb) (fuelled)
Predecessor ThrustSSC
Full scale model

Bloodhound SSC is a supersonic land vehicle currently in development. Its goal is to match or exceed 1,000 miles per hour (1,609 km/h) achieving a new world land speed record.[1] The pencil-shaped car, powered by a jet engine and a rocket engine is designed to reach 1,050 miles per hour (1,690 km/h).[2] It is being developed and built with the intention of breaking the land speed record by 33%, the largest ever margin.[3][4]

Runway testing of up to 200 miles per hour (320 km/h) is scheduled to take place in early 2015. Bloodhound SSC will then be tested on the Hakskeen Pan in the Mier area of the Northern Cape, South Africa where a track 12 miles (19 km) long, 2 miles (3.2 km) wide has been cleared.[5]


The project was announced on 23 October 2008 at the Science Museum in London by Lord Drayson - then Minister of Science in the UK's Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills - who in 2006 first proposed the project to Richard Noble and Andy Green (the two men, between them, have held the land speed record since 1983).

Richard Noble, engineer, adventurer, and former paint salesman,[6] reached 633 mph (1,019 km/h) driving turbojet-powered car named Thrust2 across the Nevada desert in 1983. In 1997, he headed the project to build the ThrustSSC, driven by Andy Green, a RAF pilot, at 763 mph (1,228 km/h), thereby breaking the sound barrier, a record first for a land vehicle (in compliance with Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile rules).

The task of driving the Bloodhound will fall to Wing Commander Green, who will lie feet-first in the Bloodhound SSC. As the car accelerates from 0 to 1,000 mph (0 to 1,609 km/h) in 42 seconds, he will experience a force of approximately 2.5g (two-and-a-half times his body weight) and blood will rush to his head.

To slow the vehicle, Green will deploy airbrakes at 800 mph (1,300 km/h) with disc brakes used below 250 mph (400 km/h). As he decelerates, experiencing forces of up to 3g, blood will drain to his feet, with a risk of driver blackout. To condition his body for these intense g-forces, he will practice in a stunt aircraft, flying upside-down over the British countryside.[citation needed]



The project was based in the former Maritime Heritage Centre on the Bristol harbourside, located next to Brunel's SS Great Britain. In 2013 the project outgrew its home and since then has been located on an industrial estate in Shirehampton, near Bristol.


The College of Engineering at Swansea University has been heavily involved in the aerodynamic shape of the vehicle from the start. Professor Oubay Hassan, Professor Ken Morgan and their team have used Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to provide an understanding of the aerodynamic characteristics of the proposed shape, at all speeds, including predicting the likely vertical, lateral and drag forces on the vehicle and its pitch and yaw stability.[7] This technology, originally developed for the aerospace industry, was validated for a land-going vehicle during the design of ThrustSSC. It was this involvement with the previous land speed record that prompted Richard Noble to approach Swansea in April 2007 for their help with this latest challenge. Swansea University's School of the Environment and Society was also enlisted to help determine a new test site for the record as the test site for the ThrustSSC record attempt has become unsuitable.[8]


A prototype Eurojet EJ200 jet engine developed for the Eurofighter and bound for a museum, was donated to the project. This will take the car to 300 mph (480 km/h), after which a bespoke hybrid rocket designed by Nammo will boost the car up to 1,000 miles per hour (1,609 km/h). A third engine, a 2.4L V8 Cosworth CA2010 Formula 1 unit, was used as an auxiliary power unit and to drive the oxidiser pump for the rocket.[9] In November 2014, it was revealed that Jaguar Land Rover will be providing support and an engine to replace the Cosworth system, which was dropped for a variety of reasons.[10] The engines produce more than 135,000 horsepower - more than 6 times the power of all the Formula 1 cars on a starting grid put together.

Development testing of the initial Bloodhound SSC hybrid rocket motor was conducted by Daniel Jubb[11] of The Falcon Project with tests conducted in 2008-2013. Publicly disclosed tests were conducted in 2009[12] and 2012[13][14] including a run at Newquay Airport in GB.[15] In addition Daniel Jubb[16] designed, manufactured and test fired a full diameter 18" monopropellant HTP thruster[17] for the subsonic ground tests for Bloodhound SSC. "The Bloodhound team had been developing its own hybrid power unit in collaboration with Manchester-based Falcon Project Ltd, and gave this rocket its first UK test firing in October 2012. And although this demonstration was deemed a success at the time, it became clear that considerable sums of money and time would be needed to perfect the design." "Nammo will have test firings next year in Raufoss and when we get the data off those we can decide on precisely what the packaging requirements will be," said Mr Chapman, Bloodhound's chief engineer[18]

The Nammo hybrid rocket will be fueled by liquid high-test peroxide and solid hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene.


The four 36-inch (910 mm) diameter wheels will rotate at up to 10,200 rpm and will be forged from solid aluminium to resist the 50,000 g centrifugal forces.[19]


Engineers produced the scale model which was exhibited at the launch, and will integrate the engineering behind the car into its curriculum, working with design team, led by Chief Engineer Mark Chapman. The car will be built at a site in Bristol.[20] The site will include an educational centre.[21] A full scale model was unveiled at the 2010 Farnborough International Airshow,[22] when it was announced that Hampson Industries would begin to build the rear chassis section of the car in the first quarter of 2011 and that a deal for the manufacture of the front of the car was due. Chief Engineer Mark Chapman says, "We aim to shake down the vehicle on a runway in the UK at the beginning of 2013."


The Bloodhound Project is first and foremost an education project designed to inspire future generations to take up careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by showcasing these subjects in the most exciting way possible. The education programme covers all phases (ages) of education from primary through to secondary and further education, plus Bloodhound@University. Any school, teacher, youth group or home educated family in the world can register their details on the Bloodhound SSC website and download the free curriculum resource materials. Education institutions in the UK or South Africa can request a visit from a member of the Bloodhound education team or STEM Ambassador who will work alongside a teacher and deliver a presentation on the project. The Bloodhound education programme is also working with other STEM interventions and initiatives to ensure the Project reaches as many schools as possible. These include F1 in Schools (Bloodhound Class), the Smallpeice Trust, Primary Engineer, Science Made Simple and Young Engineers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Noble, Green and Team Target 1,000MPH Record Thursday, 23 October 2008
  2. ^ "Facts and Figures". The Bloodhound Project. June 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Supersonic car targets 1,000mph". BBC News (BBC). 22 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  4. ^ Jonathan M. Gitlin (19 March 2014). "Bloodhound SSC: How do you build a car capable of 1,000mph?". Ars Technica. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Rolls-Royce Backs Bloodhound Monday, 13 May 2013
  6. ^ Noble, Richard (1999). Thrust. London: Bantam Books. p. 26. ISBN 0-553-81208-4. 
  7. ^ "Swansea University help design Bloodhound SSC". Swansea University. Retrieved 2008-10-23. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Swansea University Desert Selection Programme". Swansea University. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  9. ^ "Cosworth F1 Engine Key to Land Speed Car Hitting 1,000 MPH". Enginelabs. Retrieved 2014-10-28. 
  10. ^ "Jaguar F-type R AWD joins Bloodhound SSC for record attempt". Evo. Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  11. ^ Daniel Jubb Daniel Jubb, Accessed 31 December 2013.
  12. ^ YouTube video of the first test firing near Garlock, CA. [1], 17 October 2009. Accessed 31 December 2013.
  13. ^ BBC, Science Section. Newquay test set for Bloodhound land speed rocket, BBC News, 12 September 2012. Accessed 31 December 2013.
  14. ^ YouTube video from The Telegraph of the Newquay, GB test firing. [2], 12 September 2012. Accessed 2 January 2014.
  15. ^ Bloodhound SSC weblog of Daniel Jubb at second hybrid test at Aerohub, Newquay Cornwall Airport, GB [3], 12 October 2009. Accessed 31 December 2013.
  16. ^ BBC, Science Section. The Bloodhound Project Daniel Jubb,, 2008. Accessed 31 December 2013.
  17. ^ Bloodhound SSC weblog of first Monopropellant test firing near Garlock, CA [4], 12 July 2009. Accessed 31 December 2013.
  18. ^ Bloodhound 1,000mph car to use Norwegian Nammo rocket [5], 19 December 2013. Accessed 2 January 2014.
  19. ^ P Malone, Sunday Times 26 Oct 2008
  20. ^ "Supersonic Bloodhound car to be built in Bristol". BBC. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-23. 
  21. ^ "Education". Bloodhound SSC. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  22. ^ Amos, Jonathan (19 July 2010). "Model of Bloodhound supersonic car unveiled". BBC News. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 

External links[edit]

For more information see ThrustSSC