The British-built Bloodhound supersonic car is set to commence high-speed trials. The car will be air freighted this month from its Gloucestershire base to South Africa’s Northern Cape where the tests will take place.
Bloodhound’s engineers hope it will break the existing land speed record of 763mph (1,228km/h).
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Before taking on the landspeed record, engineers want to test a few of their design choices with a series of sub-sonic runs, the BBC reports.
The tests runs will take place on a dried-out lakebed called Hakskeen Pan in South Africa. The tests will see the Bloodhound car use a jet engine taken from a Eurofighter-Typhoon and go at speeds between 500-600mph (804-965km/h).
If all goes to plan during the sub-sonic runs, the Bloodhound team will then return to the Northern Cape in roughly a year’s time. This time, the vehicle will have a rocket motor attached, and the team will attempt to pierce the sound barrier and accelerate to over 800 mph (1287km/h).
Preparing to pierce the sound barrier
The team has used sophisticated computer models to predict the effect these incredible speeds will have on the Bloodhound vehicle. They are now eager to test these principles in real life.
“After many years in preparation, we can’t wait to get out to the Hakskeenpan and let Bloodhound off the leash to see just how it performs,” chief engineer Mark Chap told The Guardian.
One impressive effect of the speeds is that after reaching 400mph aerodynamic forces mean the car is practically flying, and the wheels will act more like rudders against the force of the wind.
“Below about 400mph, the front wheels steer the car just like they do on your car. But above 400-450mph, the wheels start to work like rudders and it’s the aerodynamic forces on the wheels that’s doing the steering,” Chapman told the BBC.
The Bloodhound car sports a Rolls-Royce-designed jet engine which produces nine tonnes of thrust (90 kN). This should allow it to get above 600mph.
The team is continuously working on the arrow-like car and will look to go even further if they do reach such incredible speeds.
Source: Interesting Engineering