Bloodhound LSR jet car reaches 628 mph

The people working on the Bloodhound LSR vehicle have been working for years in an attempt to set a new land speed record. The team has announced that the car has reached a new top speed of 628 mph or about 1,010 km/h in only 50 seconds. Over that 50-second time frame, the vehicle had traveled five miles.

That rate of speed is high enough that the Bloodhound LSR could have traveled from London to Edinburgh in 39 minutes. It could have traveled from Cape Town to Johannesburg in 1 hour and 23 minutes. The Bloodhound team says that in testing, supersonic airflow was detected around the rear suspension.

With the car having reached its new highest top seed ever, it has now completed high-speed testing. The record run for the vehicle was Run Profile 8, a pre-defined set of parameters for the team, and the vehicle was driven by Andy Green. The EJ200 jet engine usually found in a Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft left the starting line in "max dry" with no visible flames at a speed of up to 50 mph.

After that, the power was laid on, and the jet engine went into reheat, or afterburner mode. The maximum velocity in the test came 50 seconds later. When the vehicle reached 615 mph, the throttle was lifted, and the car was stabilized ahead of deploying a drag parachute to slow the vehicle down. The testing over the last several weeks has been conducted at the Kaksekeenpan desert racetrack in Northern Cape, South Africa.

While Bloodhound has reached its record pace of 628 mph in testing, the current land speed record held by Thrust SSC is over 763 mph. To achieve that speed, Bloodhound will be fitted with a rocket to complement the jet engine. The attempt at the land speed record will come in the next year or so, says the team.