The Bloodhound supersonic car project has bounced back from the brink of bankruptcy to set its sights on the land speed record once again. The vehicle will hit the track in October for the first time since its relaunch, with the team announcing plans to carry out high-speed testing in a South African desert.
After emerging way back in 2008 as a car built to smash the land speed record and fly past the 1,000-mph (1,600-km/h) threshold, the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) was scrapped last December as the funds ran dry.
The entire business was then purchased by entrepreneur Ian Warhurst, the car rebranded as the Bloodhound LSR (land speed record) and the operations moved into a new research center in March. Here, the team has been busy tweaking the design of the car for the high-speed testing phase.
This has included upgrading springs and dampers, adding new air pressure and load sensors, fire safety systems and a parachute braking system. The upcoming runs will mark the first speed tests since the Bloodhound car reached 210 mph (337 km/h) at Cornwall Airport Newquay in October 2017.
When the car takes to the dry lake bed in Hakskeen Pan, South Africa in October, the team will be looking to hit speeds of 500 mph (800 km/h). It sees this as a key milestone and full dress rehearsal for the proper record attempt, and will be using data from hundreds of sensors embedded in the car to understand how it behaves at high speeds.
"I'm thrilled that we can announce Bloodhound's first trip to South Africa for these high speed testing runs," Bloodhound LSR CEO Ian Warhurst says. "This world land speed record campaign is unlike any other, with the opportunities opened up by digital technology that enabled the team to test the car's design using computational fluid dynamics and that will allow us to gather and share data about the car's performance in real time. In addition, we're running the car on a brand new surface. The wheels have been designed specifically for this desert lake bed, but it will still be vital to test them at high speeds before making record speed runs."
All going well, the team is planning its record attempt for late 2020. The current land speed record stands at 763.035 mph (1,227.985 km/h).
Source: Bloodhound LSR
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