The team will be attempting a 1,000 mph land speed record in 2020.
Nine years after it was first announced, the Bloodhound SSC jet car project has reached a significant milestone, completing its first public test run in preparation for its land speed world record attempt. Around 3,500 spectators gathered at a 9,000-ft airport runway in Newquay, England, where the Bloodhound SSC successfully completed two test runs reaching a peak speed of 210 mph. Behind the wheel was RAF Wing Commander Andy Green, who holds the current land speed record set in 1997.
20 years ago, Green drove the jet-powered Thrust SSC through the Nevada desert at 763 mph. The Bloodhound SSC is aiming to smash that record and become the first car to reach 1,000 mph. During its first public test run, 20,000 lbs of thrust allowed the Bloodhound SSC to accelerate to 210 mph from a standstill in just eight seconds. And you thought the Bugatti Chiron was fast. "The design and engineering team has done an incredible job with Bloodhound SSC," Green commented after completing the test run. "There is development work still to do, of course, but straight out of the box it feels responsive, stable and, above all, tremendously fast."
"The car is designed for high speed on a desert rather than sprint performance off the line, but it still accelerated from zero to 210 mph in less than eight seconds. It's also notable for being the longest period that we've run the car for, at around 21.5 minutes – and remember it's designed to run for just two minutes at a time in the desert."
The car was fitted with its runway wheels for the test runs which are originally from an English Electric Lightning fighter. Specially reconditioned by Dunlop, these wheels have pneumatic tires, which have around one-third of the grip of regular car tires. The 13.4-meter car is currently being built in Bristol, England. Weighing 7.5-tonnes, the Bloodhound SSC is powered by a Rolls Royce EJ200 jet engine - the same engine that powers the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet. Combined with a rocket and a supercharged V8 Jaguar engine pumping fuel, the Bloodhound SSC produces over 135,000-horsepower: to put things in perspective, that's around 100 times more powerful than a Koenigsegg One:1.
Next year, Green will attempt to reach over 600 mph in the Bloodhound SSC at an 11-mile track in South Africa before attempting to beat his land speed record in 2019 with a target speed of over 800 mph. Extra rocket motors will then be added to enable the supersonic car to attempt a new 1,000 mph record in 2020 which is the team's ultimate aim – providing they can secure funding, that is. Funding has always been a hindrance, as the team has been relying on sponsorship and fan donations.