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Supersonic Bloodhound Jet Car Heads To The Desert

Guinness World Record / 5 Comments

It's got a jet engine and is ready to be let off the leash.

Bloodhound LSR has had a rocky start towards its goal of hitting 1,000 miles per hour and claiming the land speed record, which currently sits at 763.035 mph. In 2018, development of the UK based project stalled as Bloodhound Programme Ltd went into administration. Without multi-million dollar funding, the project was then axed and the project's assets sold off. It was bought by an entrepreneur called Ian Warhurst, who realized the project is still viable with the value of sponsorship it can bring. Now, after plenty of testing on runways, Bloodhound LSR is heading to South Africa for high-speed testing in the Hakskeenpan desert.

Simon Galloway
Simon Galloway
Simon Galloway

The power source for Bloodhound LSR is a Rolls Royce EJ200 jet engine usually seen in the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet. It makes an insane 9 tons of thrust - the equivalent of around 54,000 thrust horsepower. The shakedown test will happen in 13 stages as the 6-ton car is pushed to go faster in 50 mph increments through October and November. During testing, it's expected to break the 500-mph barrier, taking it into the top 10 fastest cars of all time list as it races across solid ground at the same speeds as a commercial airliner.

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Simon Galloway
Simon Galloway
Simon Galloway
Simon Galloway

The reason testing is being paced like that is because between 300-500 mph is the most vulnerable area for the Bloodhound LSR. At transonic speeds, the aerodynamic forces are still building up but grip from the solid aluminum wheels is fading. Once it gets across a certain point, the aerodynamics starts to provide all the grip.

In testing so far, Bloodhound LSR hit 200 mph in 8 seconds while being driven by Andy Green, the man who drove Thrust SSC to claim the current land speed record. At full design speed, Bloodhound LSR should cover a full mile in 3.6 seconds on wheels designed to spin at 10,200 rpm. When the rocket-propelled pencil gets to 500 mph, only a few millimeters of the aluminum will be touching the surface to steer Bloodhound LSR more like a rudder than wheels on a car.

Simon Galloway
Simon Galloway
Simon Galloway
Simon Galloway
Simon Galloway
Simon Galloway
Simon Galloway
Simon Galloway

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