The Car

Unlike Thrust SSC which was propelled by two Rolls-Royce Spey 202 turbofan engines, Bloodhound SSC will be equipped with a single EJ200 Eurofighter Typhoon jet engine, which will provide 20,000 lb of thrust. But as well as the jet engine, Bloodhound SSC will be equipped with a hybrid rocket that will provide an additional 27,500 lb of thrust.

So that's what a jet engine looks like

The final design of the car places the heavier 1,000kg jet engine, above the smaller 400kg rocket. This was a relatively recent change, with the Bloodhound SSC website still stating that the rocket will reside above the jet engine. According to John Piper, the improved computational power provided by Intel allowed new computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations to be run, resulting in the radical change of design.

The rocket has already been test fired successfully

There's also an 800bhp V12 engine on-board, acting primarily as a fuel pump for the rocket! The rocket needs a tonne of High Test Peroxide (HTC) pumped in 22 seconds at 1,200psi, so your average automotive fuel pump wasn't going to cut the mustard. The V12 lump is also used to start EJ200 jet engine and power all the hydraulic systems on the car.

The most powerful fuel pump that I've ever seen

But all that power doesn't count for much unless you've got wheels that can cope with it, and the consequent speed. Here, the Bloodhound SSC team have called on Lockheed Martin for help, and the legendary aircraft builder has managed to create a wheel that should, in theory, withstand the force or travelling at 1,000mph and 50,000rpm. The wheels are constructed from forged aerospace-grade aluminium, but as of yet a mounting mechanism hasn't been designed.

Lockheed Martin is working on the wheel design

As you can see from the graph below, Bloodhound SSC will take approximately 100 seconds to complete its ten mile run. The measured mile, on which the record attempt will be judged comes between 40 and 50 seconds into the run, and this is where Bloodhound SSC has to hit its peak. Clearly the team is looking to peak at over 1,000mph to ensure that the average speed over the measured mile is in excess of that magic number.

Two runs are required for the record attempt and the second run must be performed less than an hour after the first. That doesn't leave the team a lot of time to turn the 6.5 tonne car around, refuel and prep it - but then, nothing good comes easily.

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