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Inside the Bloodhound SSC: 1000mph or Bust!

by Paul Strauss

The current land-speed record for a vehicle was set all the way back in 1997 by pilot Andy Green and his ThrustSSC turbofan-powered car. It was the first supersonic ride on wheels, with his top speed hitting over 763mph over the course of one mile. Now, much of the same team is building a vehicle with the intention of driving it across the African desert an astounding 1000mph or more.

The guys at XCAR went behind the scenes of the production of the Bloodhound SSC to hear from its engineers, and the challenges of not only building a supersonic car, but driving one without killing its pilot or anyone else. Surprisingly, the mission to build the vehicle isn’t just about driving at ludicrous speed. The team says the project is, at its heart, about inspiring young people to get excited about science, math and technology. And what could be more exciting than a 1,000mph rocket car?

The 14,330 pound, 42 foot-long, computer-controlled vehicle will have the equivalent of 133,000 bhp, and will be powered by a Eurojet EJ200 turbofan jet engine, along with a hybrid rocket engine. The car will even use a 650hp racecar engine, but not to propel the drivetrain – instead it will be used to pump a whopping 850 liters of hydrogen peroxide to the rocket in just 17 seconds.

The team hopes to take the Bloodhound SSC to South Africa’s Hakskeen Pan┬áin 2015 to attempt an 800mph+ drive to break the current record, and then return again in 2016 to push for their 1,000mph goal.

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