British engineers are gearing up for an attempt on the world land speed record with a vehicle they believe will be capable of 1,000mph.
The design for the Bloodhound SSC – SuperSonic Car – is now complete. Built from aerospace-grade aluminium, it is based on a 14-foot hybrid rocket and a jet engine from the Eurofighter Typhoon. A third engine pumps fuel through to the rocket.
The designers claim it should achieve 135,000 horsepower – equivalent to the power of 180 Formula One cars – and is expected to accelerate to 1,050mph in just 40 seconds.
The original design featured a much smaller rocket, positioned above a rather heavier engine. But this created too much drag. Increasing the size of the rocket threatened the stability of the vehicle, and the decision was made to effectively turn the design upside down.
The record attempt will be made by Wing Commander Andy Green, who established a record speed of 763mph in 1997. It will take place at a dried-up lake bed in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province in 2011.
There’s more information here.