When your car looks more like a rocket than an automobile and can go from 0 to 1,000 mph in 55 seconds, speed limits don’t really apply.
The Bloodhound is a sleek and aerodynamic beast, stretching 13.5 meters long (44 feet), with a two-meter high tail fin and Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine, as well as a supercharged Jaguar V8 engine. So yes, it’s got a lot of power under the hood.
Built by the Royal Space Agency with a team made up of Formula 1 and aerospace experts, the car is set to hopefully break the land speed record next October on a specially designed track in the Northern Cape of South Africa. The current land speed record of 763 mph was set in 1997 by Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green in Nevada.
Project director Richard Noble wants to shatter that record and hopes the Bloodhound’s mix of jet and rocket engine will do just fine.
“Zero to a 1,000 miles an hour is 55 seconds, and then when we go through the measured mile it’s 3.6 seconds… a mile in 3.6 seconds. Then we gotta think about stopping,” Noble said with a laugh.
Noble is no stranger to speed records, having broken the record himself n 1983 by reaching 633 mph with the Thrust2, as well as being a part of the 1997 record-breaking team. The guy likes to make sure he stays close to the record.
The car has been eight years in the making and racked up a hefty $23 million price tag. With 500 sensors, three braking systems, seven fire extinguishers, and an oxygen mask, it’s essentially “an airplane, but on four wheels” as technician Mark Blackwell sees it.
The team also hopes that the project will inspire young people to pursue careers in math and science. Nearly 4,000 schools have registered to follow along with the project where students can ask questions to the team and launch their own science projects. To educate students about the project, the team held a contest for students to build their own model rocket cars, with the winning car reaching a speed of 90 mph. For more information on educational opportunities behind the Bloodhound Project, visit their website.