Bloodhound to test fire the UK’s largest hybrid rocket

Mar 7, 2011
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The Bloodhound Super Sonic Car project has been looking to oust the Thrust project as the current holders of the land speed record (LSR). The team has designed a two-stage rocket system to propel the car at a velocity of 1050mph. The first stage is a EUROJET EJ200, the same engine as found in the Eurofighter Typhoon. The second stage is a custom designed hybrid rocket designed by The Falcon Project Ltd. This specialist rocketry company is led by self-taught rocket scientist, Daniel Jubb, 27. Bloodhound announced plans to test fire this second stage rocket system last week.

The Formula 1 series of racing cars are ubiquitous with speed. Every year they race at speeds near 200mph. They don't have anything on the Bloodhound project. In this engine, the Cosworth F 1 engine is just the fuel pump.

The fighter engine is set to accelerate the car to around 350mph in the first 25 seconds of the run. Then, the Cosworth engine kicks in to deliver nearly a ton of liquid oxidiser to the second stage rocket, fast enough to fill a bath tub in three seconds. As the oxidiser mixes with the solid fuel filling Jubb's rocket, the car will reach it's max design speed of 1050mph, shattering both the sound barrier and the world land speed record. This will all happen in under a minute, close to 45 seconds.

From Bloodhound's press release:

BLOODHOUND SSC is the world’s ultimate racing car but something more besides: it is the focal point of global education initiative designed to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The development of its rocket by a small, visionary and dedicated team of engineers encapsulates the spirit of the Project. When, later this year, the rocket breathes fire at its UK test location, BLOODHOUND SSC will be that much closer to speeding across a dry lake-bed in the Northern Cape, South Africa; the world will be watching.

Mike Horne Design worked on ThrustSSC, the current holder of the LSR at Black Rock Desert, Nevada on October 15, 1997. The ThrustSSC car broke the sound barrier and topped out at 763 mph.

[via Bloodhound SSC]


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