Bloodhound supersonic car to be put through its paces in South Africa

Wednesday 10th July 2019 04:00 BST

It will aim to hit 500mph in its upcoming tests before attempting to break the land speed record of 763.035mph - and then start targeting its ultimate goal.

The vehicle will take to the 12-mile Hakskeen Pan track in October.

Bloodhound reached 200mph at Cornwall Airport Newquay in 2017 - and its driver Andy Green hopes the project can build on its previous success "by going fast on the desert the car was designed to run on".

"This is where science meets reality and it all starts to get really exciting," he said.

More than 300 cameras and sensors built into the car will gather data that will be analysed by academics and students at Swansea University.

Entrepreneur Ian Warhurst decided to rescue the project from administration last year, buying the car and its assets for an undisclosed sum, and has since pushed the campaign forward.

Mr Warhurst said the vehicle would need to make up to 10 test runs before attempting to reach any record speeds.

"This world land speed record campaign is unlike any other, with the opportunities opened up by digital technology that enabled the team to test the car's design using computational fluid dynamics and that will allow us to gather and share data about the car's performance in real time," he said.

The car's Rolls-Royce jet engine, which can cover a mile in 3.6 seconds at full speed, will be used to test its performance and handling between 300mph and 500mph.

At this point, Bloodhound's stability is no longer controlled by the car's wheels on the desert surface but by its aerodynamics.

This means the grip from the wheels will fall off faster than the aerodynamic forces build up.

Bloodhound will use a 10-mile by 100m section of track which includes large safety areas on both sides.

Mr Warhurst explained: "This is important as we can't run over the same piece of ground twice because the car will break up the baked mud surface as it passes.

"We need multiple tracks so we can build speed slowly and safely - going up in 50mph steps, comparing real-world results with theoretical data - and Hakskeen Pan is the perfect place to do this.

"The surface is hard, too, which means we've been able to design slightly narrower wheels that reduce aerodynamic drag.

"The desert surface also has a slight degree of 'give', which will work with the suspension to give a smoother ride, reducing vibration inside the car."

More than 300 people from the local community moved 16,500 tonnes of rock to create the desert track.

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