We’re again! Like a phoenix from the ashes, Bloodhound has risen anew, trying higher than ever.
After 10 years of cutting-edge analysis and growth, constructing and testing the world’s most superior straight-line racing automobile, the previous Bloodhound firm lastly ran out of cash on the finish of final 12 months.
Regardless of some severe industrial curiosity within the mission, the stop-start nature of sponsorship funding lastly did us in.
What we actually wanted to search out was an investor who might underwrite the cashflow between sponsorship offers…
With actually just some days left earlier than Bloodhound went to the scrap yard, a stunning Yorkshireman referred to as Ian Warhurst stepped ahead and acquired the automobile.
It was the center of December final 12 months when Ian turned up with one of the best Christmas current ever – a supersonic future for Bloodhound!
Ian is a mechanical engineer and, having simply taken early retirement after promoting his enterprise, was in search of one thing to maintain him busy.
A brand new World Land Velocity File appeared like simply the factor.
The brand new staff known as Bloodhound LSR (for Land Velocity File, in fact) and the look of the automobile has been completely modified by its placing new pink and white color scheme.
The primary time I spoke to Ian, he requested me what color I believed the automobile ought to be. I urged some robust major colors, resembling pink or blue, which might stand out in opposition to the dried mud floor of the desert observe.
Nearly as an afterthought, I discussed that a base color of white would even be OK, because it was one of the best color to maintain the automobile cool within the sunshine, however it would not be my first selection.
I am SO glad that he did not pay attention – the white appears simply terrific.
So what occurs now?
Very sensibly, Ian has damaged the brand new “operational” section of Bloodhound’s life into two distinct elements.
The primary goal is to set a brand new World Land Velocity File (at present standing at 763mph), after which we are able to overview the outcomes and make a plan to assault Bloodhound’s final aim of 1,000mph.
In preparation for our first goal of a brand new report round 800mph, we need to take the present automobile out to South Africa to conduct some high-speed testing.
“Excessive pace” on this context is wherever north of 400mph to 500mph, which can enable us to evaluate aerodynamic efficiency, measure the interplay of the strong metallic wheels with the dry lakebed/desert floor, check and develop the parachute braking programs, and so forth.
The following apparent query is when will this occur? Ian’s easy reply is: “As quickly as attainable!”
The primary activity is to finish the transfer into our new house at SGS Berkeley Inexperienced College Technical School, which is close to Gloucester.
The automobile moved into the modestly titled “UK Land Velocity File Centre” final week (the video is right here if you have not seen it already), so Mark Chapman and his engineering staff can start getting ready for high-speed working just about immediately.
Nevertheless, there are many different issues to type out earlier than we are able to repair a date for the exams.
The observe in South Africa is in glorious situation and principally able to go. After practically a decade of labor by the area people, underneath the course of the Northern Cape Provincial Authorities, Hakskeen Pan provides us the best-prepared high-speed racing floor in historical past.
Now we’ve got to finish the entire paperwork to make use of government-owned land in another person’s nation.
As a part of this, we have to present proof that we are able to run the automobile safely with out damaging the native atmosphere. It would assist that we have achieved this earlier than, even when it was over 20 years in the past!
The South Africans are very eager to get Bloodhound on the market on its new observe, so they are going to do every little thing they’ll to get the paperwork accomplished rapidly.
In some circumstances, we must always be capable of use the paperwork we have ready beforehand simply by altering the identify to “Bloodhound LSR”, however I am certain it will not all be that straightforward.
Equally vital is the entire export paperwork.
It is no actual shock that exporting state-of-the-art army tools (like our Rolls-Royce jet engine) attracts loads of consideration from the organisations who management that form of factor.
Whereas the laws controlling worldwide arms shipments had been by no means drafted with the Land Velocity File in thoughts, we’re utilizing military-spec , in order that they nonetheless apply to us!
As soon as all of the paperwork is sorted, we are able to get the automobile out to Hakskeen Pan and begin doing the high-speed testing.
For the primary batch of high-speed exams, the automobile can be jet-powered, utilizing a Rolls-Royce EJ200 engine as discovered within the RAF’s Hurricane jet fighters.
With out the extra help from the Nammo hybrid rocket system (nonetheless underneath growth), this jet-only automobile won’t attain supersonic speeds within the 10-12 miles out there on Hakskeen pan, however it is going to simply attain our goal of 400mph to 500mph (and possibly a bit of sooner!) throughout testing.
With Bloodhound again on observe for a brand new Land Velocity File, we’re all vastly excited in regards to the future.
SGS Berkeley Inexperienced UTC is a perfect new house for us and the automobile appears nice in its new color scheme, which is producing loads of industrial curiosity in the way forward for the mission.
Now our activity appears pretty clear. As our new proprietor Ian Warhurst put it: “It is my ambition to let Bloodhound off the leash and see simply how briskly it may possibly go.” Convey it on.