In their latest gamble to crush the current world speed record, Bloodhound LSR just completed another successful trial. While still short of the 763.035 mph (1,277.985 km/h) current record, they are inching ever closer to challenging it.
What is Bloodhound's supersonic car?
The Bloodhound LSR is a British designed and built a supersonic car that is powered by a Rolls-Royce EuroJet EJ200 afterburning turbofan jet engine as well as a Nammo HTP hybrid rocket. It follows in a long line of land speed record attempts from British engineers including the famous Sunbeam Blue Bird (1925) and Thrust2 in the 1980s.
The car's engine is designed to provide around nine tonnes of thrust (90 kN).
562mph! Boom! 🙌🙌🙌 pic.twitter.com/SyRggYdDky— Bloodhound LSR (@Bloodhound_LSR) November 15, 2019
The car has been designed to be as aerodynamic as possible to reduce drag and improve performance.
The company behind the project is a venture-capital funded organization that rescued the Bloodhound SSC Car from administration back in 2018. The rescued project was started in 2008 by the former world land speed record holder Richard Noble who managed to reach 633 mph (1,019 km/h) back in 1983.
"Since March 2019, the Bloodhound LSR project has been based at the UK Land Speed Record Centre in Berkeley, Gloucestershire. Its parent company is Grafton LSR Limited. The Bloodhound team is now working through its plan of high-speed testing followed by setting a new world land speed record in South Africa." - Bloodhound LSR.
What is the current land speed record?
To date, the current Land Speed Record is held by Bloodhound's predecessor, Thrust SSC, at 763.035 mph (1,277.985 km/h). This was set over 20 years ago in the Nevada desert by Bloodhound LSR driver Andy Green.
The team behind Bloodhound's gambit to break this record are confident that advances made in engineering, materials and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) are sufficient to successfully challenge this in the not too distant future.
"The project is helping to push boundaries and demonstrate pioneering new technologies. Many of the aspects of our land speed record car have required engineers to think in new ways and manufacturers to develop novel production and testing methods." - Bloodhound LSR.
How close are they to breaking the record?
Over the last few years, Bloodhound and its supersonic car have been making news with their progress. After showing off the car's cockpit a couple of years back they made their first public test run in 2017.
After they reported they were ready for high-speed trials earlier this year the team announced a successful high-speed trial 14 November. At 562 mph (904.451 km/h) their latest test run (Run 33) is impressive but still short of the required speed to break the record.
According to their report, the test run went very well indeed: -
- 0700 local. Slick start team works with the AST, good engine start at 49 sec, total engine running 10 min.
- Reheat accel to 562 mph peak. The car felt very stable in the absence of any crosswind.
- Dust build on the canopy, both inside and out, was a major problem with visibility only just good enough to continue. No obvious dust leaks into the cockpit.
- Some vibration felt through the suspension at around 500 mph, which appears to be due to the slightly ‘bubbly’ surface just south of the causeway.
- The chute at 520 mph, solid jolt as it deployed, followed by a slight pull to the left which was easily controlled. Chute deployment bag was double-tied with 150 lb line, still suffering from canopy dump, but deployment effective.
- Brakes on at 200 mph, 40-45 Bar. L brake 240C,
- Stop at Km 11 (2.7 DTG), as planned.
- AMAD peak 70C.
They found some areas of improvement needed with the design including:
- Dust on the canopy needs further work.
- Chute canopy dump is not impairing the deployment, so we can probably continue to use the current arrangement in order to complete the high-speed test program.
With these issues addressed, will the team be able to get closer to the current record? Only time will tell.
You can keep abreast of their progress by following them on Twitter.