Automotive

Bloodhound comms test marks 12-month countdown to land speed record test runs

Bloodhound comms test marks 12...
Bloudhound SSC has confirmed that the first world land speed record test runs will take place in 12 months time
Bloudhound SSC has confirmed that the first world land speed record test runs will take place in 12 months time
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Bloudhound SSC has confirmed that the first world land speed record test runs will take place in 12 months time
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Bloudhound SSC has confirmed that the first world land speed record test runs will take place in 12 months time
It is hoped that the Bloudhound SSC will top 1,000 mph (1,609 km/h) by 2016
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It is hoped that the Bloudhound SSC will top 1,000 mph (1,609 km/h) by 2016
The record attempt will take place on the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa
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The record attempt will take place on the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa
The communications test also marked the start on a partnership between Jaguar and the Bloudhound Project
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The communications test also marked the start on a partnership between Jaguar and the Bloudhound Project
A new F-Type R Coupé was used in the communications test, which boasts a number of performance improvements, including all wheel drive capability
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A new F-Type R Coupé was used in the communications test, which boasts a number of performance improvements, including all wheel drive capability
The new F-Type R, which has a top speed of 186 mph (299 km/h) and can accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in 3.9 seconds, carried communications equipment while a L39 jet aircraft carried receivers to measure signal strength
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The new F-Type R, which has a top speed of 186 mph (299 km/h) and can accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in 3.9 seconds, carried communications equipment while a L39 jet aircraft carried receivers to measure signal strength
The F-Type (and a Jaguar XF also carrying comms equipment) were driven along the test track in the opposite direction to the L39 jet
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The F-Type (and a Jaguar XF also carrying comms equipment) were driven along the test track in the opposite direction to the L39 jet
The L39 jet hit closing speeds of up to 700 mph (1,126 km/h)
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The L39 jet hit closing speeds of up to 700 mph (1,126 km/h)
View gallery - 8 images

Having announced its intention in 2008 to attempt a new land speed world record, the Bloodhound team has now begun its 12-month countdown to the first test runs in South Africa. The milestone was marked yesterday with a test of the communications equipment at high-speed.

Following the announcement of the planned record attempt, a full-size replica of the Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) was unveiled in 2010 and the car's rocket engine was successfully test fired in 2012. The aim of yesterday's communications test was to ensure that data will be able to be transmitted and Bloodhound driver Andy Green will be able to communicate with the support team during the eventual record attempt at speeds approaching 1,000 mph (1,609 km/h).

Green was the driver when the current land speed world record of 763 mph (1,228 km/h) was set in 1997. Back then, he was driving the Thrust SSC as part of a UK team led by Richard Noble, who is also the project director for the Bloodhound team.

The record attempt will take place on the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa
The record attempt will take place on the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa

The Bloodhound SSC is currently being built at the team's base in Bristol, UK. It will be put through its paces on the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa during 2015 with a targeted speed of 800 mph (1,287 km/h) and it is hoped that the car will top 1,000 mph (1,609 km/h) in subsequent runs during 2016.

In order to test the communications system, an L39 jet aircraft was flown above the Hakskeen Pan desert track at an altitude of 50 ft (15 m) and a speed of 500 knots (575 mph / 926 km/h). A Jaguar XF saloon and new AWD F-Type R Coupé were driven along the track in the opposite direction, producing closing speeds (the relative speed of two objects moving towards each other) with the jet of up to 700 mph (1,126 km/h).

The F-Type (and a Jaguar XF also carrying comms equipment) were driven along the test track in the opposite direction to the L39 jet
The F-Type (and a Jaguar XF also carrying comms equipment) were driven along the test track in the opposite direction to the L39 jet

The cars were carrying the equipment that will be used to stream data from the Bloodhound SSC during the 2015 and 2016 test runs and record attempts. Then, data from over 300 sensors and three streams of 720p video will be being transmitted from the car. The bespoke 4G LTE network used in the communications test will transmit the data to the project's Mission Control Center, before it is relayed to the nearest town for publication on the internet.

The successful test saw antennas with LTE modems mounted on the Jaguar XF, replicating the kit that will be built into the Bloundhound SSC's tail fin and will stream data from the car. The F-Type R, meanwhile, was carrying VHF radio technology that will be used to relay voice communications between Green and the support team. Signal strength was measured via receivers in the L39 jet and the test confirmed that there would be no frequency clashes in the spectra that the team will be using in the Hakskeen Pan area.

The L39 jet hit closing speeds of up to 700 mph (1,126 km/h)
The L39 jet hit closing speeds of up to 700 mph (1,126 km/h)

Jaguar has joined the Bloodhound Project as an innovation partner. The video below introduces the partnership and shows some footage from the communications test.

Source: Bloodhound SSC

Jaguar & Bloodhound Project partnership announced with F-TYPE Coupé AWD high-speed test

View gallery - 8 images
1 comment
Gregg Eshelman
I'd love to see the Budweiser Rocket refurbished and run again to see if it has the capability to break the sound barrier.