Time is running out for Bloodhound to secure the funding it needs to attempt a new land speed record.
After several successful speed runs, the Bloodhound LSR jet car achieved an impressive land speed of 628 mph last year, inching closer to a new world record. Next year, the team will attempt to hit 800 mph in South Africa in an effort to beat the current 763.035-mph land speed record set by Andy Green in 1997. Unfortunately, however, the Bloodhound LSR project is facing financial setbacks yet again that could cancel the project.
Back in 2018, Bloodhound went into administration after failing to secure funding, forcing the team to cancel the 1,000-mph jet car project after 11 years. Thankfully, the project was saved thanks to an investment by entrepreneur Ian Warhurst. Now, Bloodhound LSR has announced the land speed record attempt will not go ahead next year as planned unless it can secure an £8 million ($10.25 million) investment by the end of this month.
The additional funding is required to "re-form the team of aerospace and motorsport experts" and complete development of the land speed record specification car, which includes the monopropellant rocket, an electric oxidizer pump that replaces the 550-hp internal combustion unit, fuel system upgrades, braking mechanisms and winglets on the tail fin.
To reach speeds above 800mph Bloodhound LSR will need a state-of-the art rocket to run in addition to its EJ200 jet engine, which will be provided by Norwegian rocket specialist Nammo. The zero-emissions rocket won't generate any flames or chemically harmful waste during each run, and an electric motor and battery pack will be used to optimize the auxiliary power unit. Originally, Bloodhound was planning to use a 550-horsepower V8 from a Jaguar F-Type instead of the electric motor and battery pack.
"The clock is ticking to raise the necessary investment to re-group the team and crack on with the rocket program and other car upgrades in time to hit our 2021 deadlines," said Ian Warhurst, Bloodhound's CEO said. "If we miss our cool weather window in July and August, temperatures in the Kalahari will make running a rocket untenable next year."
"The project remains dormant whilst we try to secure the funding but at a cost of tens of thousands per month of overheads, and the threat that we miss the weather window next year, we cannot remain dormant for long. After all that this project has achieved in the past year to prove its viability, it would be devastating to end here when we are so close. We remain optimistic but really are running out of time."