This is our first look at the completed Bloodhound LSR jet car that will attempt to set a new land speed record.
It's been a rocky road for the supersonic Bloodhound jet car. Last year, it looked as if the 1,000-mph jet car project had reached the end of the road as Bloodhound Programme Ltd went into administration, only to be rescued by entrepreneur Ian Warhurst.
After completing a 200-mph test run at a runway in Newquay, England, in 2017, the Bloodhound LSR has been brought to the Hakskeenpan desert in South Africa to begin further high-speed testing. What you're looking at here is the completed car that will attempt to beat the current land speed record (763.035 mph) next year, shown for the first time in its final desert-spec.
This is the first time the Bloodhound LSR, which is powered by a EJ200 Eurofighter Typhoon jet engine, has been seen with its precision-machined solid aluminium wheels designed to withstand supersonic speed and can spin more than four times faster than wheels on a Formula 1 car at top speed. For the first test sessions, the wheels will be tested at speeds up to 500 mph.
During its high-speed test runs at the 10-mile Hakskeenpan desert racetrack, the team will evaluate how the car behaves when slowing down and stopping at different target speeds, building up to and beyond 500 mph.
Once engineers and driver Andy Green are satisfied they understand the drag and stopping ability of the car, they will build speed in each run by 50 mph increments. Conditions will also need to be closely monitored, as cross winds will affect the stability of the car at such high speeds.
Data from 192 pressure sensors on the car will be monitored to show the amount of drag experienced by the car on each run, which will determine the size of the rocket that will be fitted to the car to attempt a new land speed record in around 12-18 months. After this, the ultimate goal is to reach 1,000 mph.