Supersonic BLOODHOUND SSC set for first test runs this month

The world’s most advanced straight-line racing car, BLOODHOUND SSC, will be driven for the first time, at Cornwall Airport Newquay, on 26 October, twenty years after the current record of 763.035 mph was set.

Wing Commander, Andy Green, steered Thrust SSC to victory on 15 October 1997 and will be at the wheel of BLOODHOUND SSC as it is put through its paces this autumn.

Runway trials will mark the culmination of a month of tests to prove the car’s steering, brakes, suspension, data systems, and so on, as well as the EJ200 jet engine, sourced from a Eurofighter Typhoon. Thousands of visitors are expected to come and see history being made as BLOODHOUND SSC is driven at speeds of up to 200mph on the 1.7mile (2.7km) long runway.

View the live runway trials here from 12.30pm on Thursday 26 October

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.

The Newquay Trials will also be Andy Green’s first opportunity to drive the Car and experience the steering feel, throttle and brake action, noise and vibration – things that can’t be simulated.

BLOODHOUND SSC

During tests the car will powered by the jet engine alone and use wheels shod with pneumatic tyres, 84cm in diameter, from a English Electric Lightning fighter, specially reconditioned by Dunlop. As the runway wheels and suspension are slightly thicker than the solid aluminium wheels that will be used in the desert, some sections of carbon fibre bodywork will not be fitted.

Dr Ben Evans, Senior Lecturer in Aerospace Engineering at Swansea University, and member of the BLOODHOUND SSC design team, said: "This is an incredibly exciting time for all involved in the Bloodhound project and for everyone who has been following our progress. We are now turning theory into reality and these means really pushing the limits of current engineering capabilities. The Newquay runway trials are the first steps towards making Bloodhound SSC the iconic land speed record vehicle that we have been dreaming of for years. It is a real privilege to have been a part of this exceptional project". 

Richard Noble, Project Director, said: “The runway trials at Cornwall Airport Newquay will be the biggest milestone in the history of the Project so far. They will provide important data on the performance of the Car and give us a first opportunity to rehearse the procedures we’ll use when we go record breaking.

“Just as importantly, it is a way of saying ‘thank you’, to the schools, students, families and companies, big and small, who support The Project. We are proud to be waving a flag for British skills and innovation on a world stage but, most of all, this is about inspiring young people. Last year alone we directly engaged with over 100,000 students in the UK and we have already seen more students take up engineering as result of Project BLOODHOUND. With the Car running, we can showcase science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the most exciting way possible. BLOODHOUND is go!”.