Bloodhound SCC land speed record challenger set for shakedown
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The Bloodhound SSC land speed record challenger is being readied to move under its own power for the first time with shakedown trials on the runway at Cornwall Airport Newquay in England next month.
Trials on the 2.7km runway are set for October 26 and will mark the culmination of a series of tests checking the car's steering, brakes, suspension and data systems, as well as the efficiency of the intake feeding air to the EJ200 jet engine, sourced from a Eurofighter Typhoon.
It's the first moving test phase for the car which aims to initially raise the world land speed record to more than 800mph (1287km/h) then attempt 1000mph (1609km/h) on a 19km long course at the Hakskeen Pan in Northern Cape, South Africa.
The car has been transported from the Bloodhound Technical Centre in Bristol and is now housed in a temporary workshop in a hangar on the airfield.
For its runway tests the car is fitted with special wheels shod with rubber tyres from an Electric Lightning fighter, in place of the solid alloy wheels used for record attempts.
Bloodhound SSC has a Eurofighter Typhoon jet engine, a Nammo hybrid rocket system and supercharged Jaguar V8 which is the fuel pump for the rocket engine.
Three days of running are planned next month with VIP, media and education days planned.
RAF Wing Commander Andy Green, who steered Thrust SSC to the current record of 763.035mph on October 15, 1997, will be at the wheel of Bloodhound SSC for the runway trials to test the car's steering, brakes, suspension and data systems.
The tests are a milestone for the project -- the first time the car has moved under its own power.
To date it has completed several days of static "tie-down" tests with the jet engine run up while the car is chained to the ground in order to test the performance of the air intake, fuel and electrical systems.
The tests will measure the low-speed capability of the jet engine intake -- positioned above the cockpit -- and designed to work best at speeds over 800mph. Project engineers need to determine how it performs at low speeds and how soon full power can be applied.
Using this "real world" acceleration data will allow Ron Ayers, chief aerodynamicist, to plan the sequence of runs in South Africa that, it is hoped, will result in a new record.
The Newquay trials will also be Green's first opportunity to experience Bloodhound's steering feel, throttle and brake action, noise and vibration -- things that can't be simulated.
It is also the first opportunity to train the support crew, develop the car's operating procedures, safety protocols and practice radio communications.
"The runway trials at Cornwall Airport Newquay will be the biggest milestone in the history of the project so far," said Richard Noble, project director.
"They will provide important data on the performance of the car and give us a first opportunity to rehearse the procedures we'll use when we go record breaking."
To achieve 1000mph, the car will accelerate from 0-1000mph in 55 seconds and back to zero again in a further 65 seconds, during which time it will cover 19km.
Bloodhound SSC has three power plants -- a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine from a Eurofighter Typhoon, a cluster of Nammo hybrid rockets and a 550bhp supercharged Jaguar V8 engine that drives the rocket oxidizer pump.Together they generate 135,000 thrust horsepower.