Bloodhound SSC carries out first public runs

BLOODHOUND SSC made its first public runs at Cornwall Airport Newquay on Thursday 26 October, hitting a peak speed of 210mph in front of an estimated 3,500 spectators, including VIPs and members of the BLOODHOUND’s 1K supporters club.

The successful tests came 20 years after driver Wing Commander Andy Green set the current world land speed record of 763.035mph.

BLOODHOUND SSC made two runs along the 9,000ft (2.7km) runway, accelerating at a rate of 1.5G and reaching 210mph from a standing start in just eight seconds. The goal is for it to reach a speed of 1,000mph on a run in Hakskeen Pan in Northern Cape, South Africa next year and break the world land speed record.

Bloodhound test run

The Bloodhound car was tested by Andy Green ahead of its 1,000mph record attempt in 2018. © Stefan Marjoram

As well as being one of the founding sponsors of BLOODHOUND SSC, Swansea University has been instrumental in the project’s success to date, having been a key technology provider since day one in the early concept stages back in 2007.

The University’s primary role in the BLOODHOUND SSC Project has been the contribution of its expertise in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) research, with College of Engineering researchers working as part of the design team on the aerodynamic design of the supersonic car.

On completing the test runs, driver Andy Green said: “The design and engineering team has done an incredible job with BLOODHOUND SSC. There is development work still to do, of course, but straight out of the box it feels responsive, stable and, above all, tremendously fast.

“Although 210mph is far below the car’s ultimate target of 1,000mph, today was a proper workout for the vehicle. The car is designed for high speed on a desert rather than sprint performance off the line, but it still accelerated from zero to 210mph in less than eight seconds. It’s also notable for being the longest period that we’ve run the car for, at around 21.5 minutes – and remember it’s designed to run for just two minutes at a time in the desert. When we run on the dry lake bed at Hakskeen Pan, South Africa, BLOODHOUND SSC will be running on solid aluminium wheels with even less grip than we had here. Data from today’s tests, including jet engine performance, aerodynamic stability and the braking distances, will help us plan our world land speed record campaign.”

Dr Ben Evans, Associate Professor in Aerospace Engineering at Swansea University and a member of the BLOODHOUND design team, said: “Swansea University’s involvement in the Bloodhound Project has been fundamentally important to the project since its inception. Over the past ten years, we’ve worked to develop the aerodynamic shape of the car, which is why it looks the way it does today. Today’s trials at Newquay were a proud milestone in the history of the project, and we’ve taken an important step in taking Bloodhound forward in its attempt to break the world land speed record, and making it the ultimate land speed record holder”.