The Bloodhound LSR is getting closer to setting a new land speed record.
Over the last four weeks, we've seen the Bloodhound LSR jet car achieve astonishing speeds at the Kalahari Desert race track in South Africa in preparation for next year's land speed record attempt. During the first test, the supersonic jet car, which is powered by a EJ200 jet engine normally found in a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter plane, reached 334 mph. If that wasn't already impressive, it achieved nearly double that in the final run.
Last week, the Bloodhound LSR reached a new top speed of 628 mph, smashing the original 600 mph target. That's just 134 mph less than the current land speed record.
Driven by Andy Green, the Bloodhound LSR rolled off the line using the EJ200 in 'max dry' (no flames visible out of the back) and sped up to 50 mph. After activating the afterburner, the Bloodhound LSR reached maximum speed in just 50 seconds. Andy lifted off the throttle at 615 mph, stabilized the car and then deployed a drag parachute to slow the car down at the 11 km (6.83 mile) mark.
The high-speed tests were designed to assess how much drag the car creates in different scenarios at various speeds, as well as test the wheel brakes and drag parachutes. Data gathered from these tests will determine the size of the rocket that will be fitted to the car for the next stage: a world land speed record attempt in 12–18 months. To achieve this, the Bloodhound LSR will need to beat the current 763-mph land speed record set in 1997.
"Our speed objective for these tests was to reach 1,000 km/h. Hitting 1,010 km/h is a real milestone and shows just what the team and the car can achieve. With the high-speed testing phase concluded, we will now move our focus to identifying new sponsors and the investment needed to bringing Bloodhound back out to Hakskeen Pan in the next 12 to 18 months' time," said Ian Warhurst, Bloodhound LSR's owner. "Not only am I immensely proud of the team, I'm also delighted that we've been able to demonstrate that the car is eminently capable of setting a new world land speed record."
Bloodhound driver Andy Green added: "This morning we had the perfect conditions for a high-speed run; cool temperatures and virtually no wind. After a slick start procedure from the team, the car handled superbly once again. The stability and confidence the car gives me as a driver is testament to the years of world-class engineering that has been invested in her by team members past and present."
"With all the data generated by reaching 628 mph [1,010 km/h], we're in a great position to focus on setting a new world land speed record in the next year or so. A vital component in the success of our high-speed testing has been the race track created here at Hakskeenpan. It's proved to be exactly what we need and I'm delighted with how the car has performed on it."