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Bloodhound on scent of 1000 mph

That’s the standing World Land Speed Record, set by British Wing Commander Andy Green in the ThrustSSC on 15th October, 1997.

Now Green, joined by his former team boss – and fellow record holder — Richard Noble OBE, are getting set for a bid to hit 1000mph – that’s Mach 1.4, or 1609kmh in our language. Or roughly translated, the equivalent demerit points to lose your licence until sometime in the fifth millennium.

Their four-year Bloodhound Project, which they say is “as much an engineering adventure as the ultimate speed record challenge”, is intended to boost enrolement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, and boost interest in technology careers.

The Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) is a marriage of jet, rocket and piston-engined power packed into a 12.8m, 6400kg bullet to be fired in 2011 at a location still to be decided, but possibly Black Rock Desert in Nevada that was used for the Thrust SSC record.

Prior to that, it will warm up with an 800mph bid in 2009, and be continuously honed and improved, with a 900mph run in 2010.

The project informations says the car will be “more advanced than most spacecraft and faster than a bullet fired from a handgun. Its 900mm diameter wheels will spin at over 10,000rpm, generating 50,000 radial g at the rim. The car will accelerate from 0 – 1,050mph in 40 seconds and at V-max (maximum velocity), the pressure of air bearing down on its carbon fibre and titanium bodywork will exceed twelve tonnes per square metre. At this speed, Andy Green will be covering a distance equivalent to over four football pitches every second, or 50m in the blink of an eye.”

That completely overshadows what we refer to as `low flying’ and if the Bloodhound’s speedo hits the 1000mph mark, it will not only be the biggest jump in the history of the World Land Speed Record; but will also overtake the 994mph low altitude speed record for aircraft.

And all in the name of education, Green says. “I’ve met graduate engineers who are adamant that our previous record was what inspired their career choice as youngsters: that sort of thing makes all the effort worthwhile,” he says.

“Bloodhound SSC will be so much faster and, we hope, will fire up every school kid about the science and technology.

“We’re going to invite everyone to follow our adventure in this, the most exciting and extreme form of motorsport – the World Land Speed Record.

“Both as a mathematician, and as a Royal Air Force fighter pilot, I can’t think of anything better.”