The Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) just completed its first public runs at Cornwall Airport Newquay. The tests are the first big outings for the car ahead of its long-term goal of shattering the world's land speed record and crossing the 1000 mph (1600 km/h) threshold.
The recent tests saw the Bloodhound complete two runs in Cornwall, reaching 210 mph from a standing start in just eight seconds. Powered by a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine, the car pulled 1.5G as it hurtled along the 9,000 ft (2.7 km) runway.
"Although 210 mph is far below the Car's ultimate target of 1,000 mph, today was a proper workout for the vehicle," says driver Andy Green. "The Car is designed for high speed on a desert rather than sprint performance off the line, but it still accelerated from zero to 210 mph in less than 8 seconds."
These initial runway trials are being used to test a variety of the car's functions. The car's high-tech, solid aluminum wheels were not installed for this test run but instead it was fitted with reconditioned wheels from an English Electric Lightning fighter.
"Stopping a slippery, 5 tonne car, running on low-grip aircraft tyres, is a challenge within the relatively limited length of the 2.7 km runway here, particularly as the Car continues accelerating after I lift off the throttle," says Green.
"I discovered during the initial dynamic tests that to get the Car to 200mph, I would have to take my foot off the throttle at 130mph as it then carries on accelerating for another 2 seconds. And then to slow down, I need to apply gentle pressure to the brakes for 2 seconds to 'warm up' the carbon fibre disk brakes before applying full force on the brakes to stop the Car."
The team will gear up for an even faster run next year, with the ultimate goal of crossing 1000 mph on a dry lake bed at Hakskeen Pan in South Africa in 2020. A rocket is currently being developed by Nammo to propel the car up to the record-breaking speed.
Check out the photo gallery for a closer look at the Bloodhound during these first exciting test runs.
Source: Bloodhound SSC
Want a cleaner, faster loading and ad free reading experience?
Try New Atlas Plus. Learn more