The cockpit of a 1000 MPH car, the Bloodhound SSC

Interesting Engineering

The Bloodhound SSC (Super Sonic Car) is aiming to break the land speed world record and not only that, it wants to break the 1000 mph barrier, 33% more than the current world record. The British built car is a massive engineering and scientific challenge and looks to break the record by using an EJ200 jet engine, two rockets and a Cosworth CA2010 Formula 1 V8 petrol engine auxiliary power unit with a sum total of 135,000 hp. Now the car has taken one step closer to completion as the cockpit has finished manufacturing.

BloodhoundCockpit[Image Source: Bloodhound SSC]

Pilot Andy Green calls it his "1000 mph office" in the video tour of the insides below.  Its been completely custom designed to Green's body contours using 3-D scanning and printing. The steering wheel has been printed from powdered titanium to the shape of his hands meaning no waste during production and it houses buttons for the parachute brakes, air brakes and the rocket trigger switches. There is a right pedal for the jet engine throttle and a left pedal for the wheel breaks. Dials give information on performance and crucial data to let him know when to begin rocket use and when to deploy the parachutes among other crucial decisions.

BloodhoundCockpit2Pilot Andy Green in the tailor made cockpit [Image Source: Bloodhound SSC]

The cockpit itself is a carbon fibre monocoque, similar to jet fighters and formula one cars. Its structure is a aluminium honeycomb spacing sandwiched between 7 layers or carbon fibre one side and 5 on the other, which took 10000 hours of work to produce. 4 blocks of aluminium that were forged multiple times are connected to the front to take the wishbone suspension load forces.

The canopy over Green will stop any wind getting inside the car as you can imagine the force that would create on your face! However the canopy has another very important function and that is to slow the air down as the jet engine needs the air flow to be less than 761 mph (slower than sound) otherwise the fan blades will fail and break. It has been designed with complex aerodynamics to ensure that the air is slowed down from 1000 mph to a safe enough level to enter the jet engine.

The design is pushing boundaries in so many levels and is at the peak of engineering right now. Expect loads more exciting news running up to the attempt in South Africa in 2016.