Bloodhound LSR

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Bloodhound LSR
Bloodhound LSR logo.png
ManufacturerGrafton LSR Ltd, Bristol
AssemblyUK Land Speed Record Centre, Berkeley
Body and chassis
ClassLand speed record vehicle
EngineRolls-Royce Eurojet EJ200 afterburning turbofan
Nammo HTP hybrid rocket
Wheelbase8.9 m (29 ft)
Length12.9 m (42 ft)
Width2.5 m (8.2 ft)
Height3.0 m (9.8 ft)
Kerb weight6,422 kg (14,158 lb) fuelled

Bloodhound LSR, formerly Bloodhound SSC, is a British land vehicle intended to travel at supersonic speeds. 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 per cent, the largest ever margin.[3][4]

Runway testing of up to 200 miles per hour (320 km/h) occurred on 26, 28 and 30 October 2017 in Newquay, Cornwall. Bloodhound SSC was due to 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 had been cleared.[5] Bloodhound made its first run at Hakskeen Pan under its own power on 25 October 2019.[6]

In July 2016, it was reported that Andy Green would pilot the Bloodhound and attempt to break his own World Land Speed Record.[7] In May 2018, the team announced plans to make a 610 mph run in 2019, and a 1,000 mph run in 2020, but the company went into administration in late 2018.[8][9] Yorkshire entrepreneur Ian Warhurst bought the car with the intention to keep the project alive. Under Warhurst the project was renamed the Bloodhound LSR and moved to SGS Berkeley Green University Technical College.[10]

Development and testing[edit]

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 land speed record holders Richard Noble and Wing Commander and RAF pilot Andy Green. The two men, between them, have held the land speed record since 1983.

In 1983, Noble, a self-described engineer, adventurer, and former paint salesman,[11] reached 633 mph (1,019 km/h) driving a turbojet-powered car named Thrust2 across the Nevada desert. In 1997, he headed the project to build the ThrustSSC, which was driven by Green at 763 mph (1,228 km/h), thereby breaking the sound barrier, a first for a land vehicle (in compliance with Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile rules). The Bloodhound project was named for the Bristol Bloodhound surface-to-air missile.[12]

Green is also Bloodhound's intended driver. Bloodhound is designed to accelerate from 0 to 1,000 mph (0 to 1,609 km/h) in 42 seconds, and decelerate using airbrakes at 800 mph (1,300 km/h), parachutes at 600 mph (965 km/h) and disc brakes below 250 mph (400 km/h). The force on the driver during acceleration would be 2.5g (two-and-a-half times his body weight) and during deceleration, up to 3g.

The project was originally fully based in the former Maritime Heritage Centre on the Bristol harbourside, next to Brunel's SS Great Britain. The construction would remain in Bristol but the head offices of the project moved to Didcot in Oxfordshire in late 2015.[13]

Project ownership[edit]

Development stalled in October 2018 when it was announced that the company backing the project, Bloodhound Programme Ltd., had gone into administration, leaving a funding gap of £25 million, which put the venture's future into question.[9]

Bloodhound LSR at the launch event, SGS Berkeley Green UTC, 2019

The project was "axed" in December 2018, with plans to sell off the remaining assets.[14] Later that month, Yorkshire entrepreneur Ian Warhurst stepped in to rescue the project by buying the assets and intellectual property, including the car itself, for an undisclosed sum.[15]

In March 2019, it was announced that Warhurst had formed a new company called Grafton LSR Ltd., which became the car's legal owner. The company said in a statement that Warhurst was trying to save the project with new sponsors and partners, and added that the survival and restart of the project was looking "very promising."[16]


The name of the new team became 'Bloodhound LSR' (for Land Speed Record). In late March 2019, the car moved to SGS Berkeley Green University Technical College in Berkeley, Gloucestershire near Gloucester.[17] Test runs on 10 miles (16 km) of track at Hakskeen began in October, using only the Rolls-Royce EJ200 engine, with an expectation of reaching 400–500 miles per hour (800 km/h).[6] The car achieved 501 miles per hour (806 km/h) on 6 November 2019.[18]



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)[19][20] 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.[21] 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 had become unsuitable.[22]


A prototype Eurojet EJ200 jet engine developed for the Eurofighter and bound for a museum, was donated to the project. This would take the car to 300 mph (480 km/h), after which a bespoke hybrid rocket designed by Nammo would boost the car up to 1,000 miles per hour (1,609 km/h). A third engine, a Jaguar supercharged V-8, was to be used as an auxiliary power unit and to drive the oxidiser pump for the rocket.[23]

The cockpit exterior

Development testing of the initial Bloodhound SSC hybrid rocket motor was conducted by Daniel Jubb[24] of The Falcon Project with tests conducted in 2008–2013. Publicly disclosed tests were conducted in 2009[25] and 2012[26][27] including a run at Newquay Airport in GB.[28] In addition Daniel Jubb[29] designed, manufactured and test fired a full diameter 18" monopropellant HTP thruster[30] 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[31]

The Nammo hybrid rocket was to be fuelled by solid hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene and liquid high-test peroxide oxidiser.

In order to accelerate the car to 800 mph, the monopropellant rocket would produce around 40 kN (8992 lbf) of thrust and the EJ200 jet engine make 90 kN (20,232 lbf) in reheat. For the 1,000 mph runs, the Nammo hybrid rockets would provide a thrust of 123.75 kN (27,820 lbf), generating about 212 kN (47,659 lbf) in total.[32]

Bloodhound LSR Cockpit


The four 36-inch (910 mm) diameter wheels would rotate at up to 10,200 rpm and be forged from an aluminium zinc alloy[33] to resist the 50000 g centrifugal forces.[34]


Engineers produced the scale model which was exhibited at the launch, and integrated the engineering behind the car into its curriculum, working with design team, led by Chief Engineer Mark Chapman. The car was to be built at a site in Bristol.[35] The site was to include an educational centre.[36] A full scale model was unveiled at the 2010 Farnborough International Airshow,[37] 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." This plan was delayed via lack of funding but by October 2017 full reheat static testing had been undertaken with the jet engine at Cornwall Airport Newquay prior to the start of low speed test runs.[38]

As of October 2018, the car's principal structure had been built, as well as the track it was intended to run on.[9]

Education and STEM outreach[edit]

The Bloodhound Project had an education component designed to inspire future generations to take up careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by showcasing these subjects and interacting with young people and students.[39] The offices of Bloodhound Company were moved to UTC Oxfordshire in Didcot in 2016 to improve this link with education.[40]

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 23 October 2008.
  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. ^ a b Amos, Jonathan (25 October 2019). "Bloodhound takes first drive across the desert". BBC News: Science. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Bloodhound SSC – first supersonic record attempt in October 2017".
  8. ^ "Bloodhound SSC to make first speed record attempt in 2019".
  9. ^ a b c Amos, Jonathan (15 October 2018). "1,000mph car hits financial roadblock". BBC News. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  10. ^ Gitlin, Jonathan M. (24 March 2019). "Good news for the 1,000mph car as Bloodhound gets a new owner". Ars Technica. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  11. ^ Noble, Richard (1999). Thrust. London: Bantam Books. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-553-81208-4.
  12. ^ English, Andrew (10 March 2014). "The 1000 MPH Car Does Not Exist—Yet". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  13. ^ "1,000mph world record rocket car team moves into Oxfordshire headquarters". Oxfordshire Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Bloodhound supersonic car project axed". BBC News. 7 December 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Bloodhound supersonic car project saved". BBC News. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Bloodhound Diary: Back on track, Andy Green (World Land Speed Record Holder), BBC News Online, 2019-03-29
  18. ^ Marriage, Ollie (6 November 2019). "The Bloodhound LSR just hit 501mph". Top Gear. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  19. ^ Evans, Ben (2011). "Computational Fluid Dynamics Applied to the Aerodynamic Design of a Land-Based Supersonic Vehicle". Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations. 27: 141–159. doi:10.1002/num.20644.
  20. ^ Evans, Ben; Rose, Chris (9 April 2014). "Simulating the aerodynamic characteristics of the Land Speed Record vehicle BLOODHOUND SSC". Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering. 228 (10): 1127–1141. doi:10.1177/0954407013511071. ISSN 0954-4070.
  21. ^ "Swansea University help design Bloodhound SSC". Swansea University. Archived from the original on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  22. ^ "Swansea University Desert Selection Programme". Swansea University. Archived from the original on 28 October 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 May 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ Daniel Jubb Daniel Jubb, Accessed 31 December 2013.
  25. ^ YouTube video of the first test firing near Garlock, CA. 17 October 2009. Accessed 31 December 2013.
  26. ^ BBC, Science Section. Newquay test set for Bloodhound land speed rocket, BBC News, 12 September 2012. Accessed 31 December 2013.
  27. ^ YouTube video from The Telegraph of the Newquay, GB test firing. 12 September 2012. Accessed 2 January 2014.
  28. ^ Bloodhound SSC weblog of Daniel Jubb at second hybrid test at Aerohub, Newquay Cornwall Airport in the UK [1], 12 October 2009. Accessed 31 December 2013.
  29. ^ BBC, Science Section. The Bloodhound Project Daniel Jubb,, 2008. Accessed 31 December 2013.
  30. ^ Bloodhound SSC weblog of first Monopropellant test firing near Garlock, CA [2], 12 July 2009. Accessed 31 December 2013.
  31. ^ Bloodhound 1,000mph car to use Norwegian Nammo rocket [3], 19 December 2013. Accessed 2 January 2014.
  32. ^ "Rocket engine". 30 April 2012.
  33. ^ "Desert Wheels". 14 September 2015.
  34. ^ P Malone, Sunday Times 26 Oct 2008
  35. ^ "Supersonic Bloodhound car to be built in Bristol". BBC. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  36. ^ "Education". Bloodhound SSC. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  37. ^ Amos, Jonathan (19 July 2010). "Model of Bloodhound supersonic car unveiled". BBC News. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  38. ^ "BLOODHOUND Dynamic testing – Run reports". 16 October 2017.
  39. ^ "Bloodhound Education". 2 March 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  40. ^ Ffrench, Andrew. "Education secretary says parents will have final say on grammar schools during visit". Oxford Times. Retrieved 26 June 2017.

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