Not too long ago, we brought you the story of the Bloodhound SSC Team and their endeavor to break the 1000mph mark in a land vehicle. Since then, the engineers have been hard at work crunching every piece of data they can get their hands on to make sure everything goes as planned. In doing so, they have inadvertently identified a problem which may set their timeline back.
To reach quad-digit speeds on the ground, rocket propulsion is the only feasible way. In the original design, the team had planned on using a familiar 200kg rocket to launch the Bloodhound SSC into the record books. However, after some careful calculations, it was deemed that this would not be enough thrust to reach the desired speed.
To combat this, a larger 400kg hybrid rocket was chosen to provide the oomph to get the vehicle moving. When combined with the on-board EJ200 jet engine, a total of 47,500lbs of thrust will be delivered upon firing the rocket.
By adding a larger rocket body, several changes to both the aerodynamics and the sub-structure had to be made. This included strengthening the frame to withstand the extra weight and moving the cockpit slightly.
The team has also been busy trying to locate the best place to make their attempt at the 1000mph mark. After some extensive research, the Hakskeen Pan in Southern Africa was elected as the best location. It has a 12 mile long track, which will allow the Bloodhound to reach its top speed and then slow down safely. The initial attempt is still set for sometime in 2011.