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Chasing 1000mph: a technological endeavour

28 January, 2015

Jet and rocket propulsion have boosted land speed record attempts previously into the 700mph bracket with the fastest achieved so far being 763.035mph by Andy Green in the Thrust SSC back in 1997. However, the crew behind The Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) want to not only beat this record, they want to blow it out of the water at an incredible 1000mph speed.

Photo: Stefan Marjoram

Thrust SSC’s team leader, Richard Noble, is now the project manager for Bloodhound SSC so the endeavour has some pretty serious experience behind it. The vehicle is currently being assembled at the BLOODHOUND Technical Centre in Bristol, UK. It has three power plants — a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet from a Eurofighter Typhoon, a cluster of Nammo hybrid rockets, and a 550bhp supercharged V8 Jaguar engine, which drives the rocket oxidizer pump. Between these power plants, they generate 135,000 thrust horsepower, equivalent to 180 Formula 1 cars. For perspective, the Bloodhound SSC at full noise will cover a mile (1.6km) in 3.6 seconds — that’s four and a half football pitches laid end to end per second!

Some of the most scientifically and technologically challenging areas of the project came about with respect to the transmission of data — over 300 sensors and three 720p video streams will be transmitted live from Bloodhound SSC as it blasts down the desert racetrack. But to make sure all of this essential equipment behaves as it should, the team had to test it all out. Check out the video below to hear all about the desert testing day:

The supersonic endeavour is scheduled for September of 2015 — reckon they’ll do it? Tell us in the comments below.

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?