Bloodhound construction starts

February 8, 2011 by
Filed under: News 

Work has started on constructing the Bloodhound SSC, the latest bid for the World Land Speed record. Designed in Bristol, the BLOODHOUND Project is an international education initiative focused around a 1000mph Land Speed Record attempt at the end of next year.

The car is being built by Hampson Industries in Birmingham, Cosworth in Northampton and the Advanced Composites Group (ACG) in Derbyshire and 90% of BLOODHOUND SSC’s primary structure is now in the manufacturing stage.

BLOODHOUND SSC Engineer Brian Coombs formally hands over one of the drawings (picture above left)

The steel-lattice rear chassis not only has to contain 47,000lbs of combined thrust (equivalent to 133,000 hp) from the car’s Eurojet EJ200 jet and Falcon Project hybrid rocket, it must also cope with 30 tonne suspension loadings, air pressures on the bodywork of up to 13 tonnes per square metre and substantial additional loads generated by the tail fin, air brakes and parachutes.

Hampson’s engineers get their first look at the drawings

Advanced Composite Group (ACG) is creating the front section of the car for Q1 2012. Using ACG’s high performance ‘prepreg’ materials, the Group’s engineering division will manufacture the entire front section of the car. It will also construct the master models and tooling from which critical elements of the car’s bodywork and structural components, such as the monocoque and nose, will be produced. The air intake and rear wheel fairings, both areas vital to the aerodynamic performance of the car and subject to extreme stress loadings, will likewise be made by ACE.

“It was clear very early on that we could build a strong and creative partnership with the ACG team,” said Mark Chapman. “We valued their input from the start when they helped us optimise our designs to make best use of composite’s capabilities. We’re looking forward to working with them closely in the coming months as we move beyond the design phase and start to build”.

Cosworth CA2010
The Cosworth CA2010 engine

Cosworth is supplying BLOODHOUND with vital data logging and telemetry systems, as well as their state-of-the-art CA2010 F1 engine. This will drive the Falcon rocket oxidiser pump via a BLOODHOUND-designed gearbox featuring gears by Xtrac and an AP Racing clutch.

With construction now underway, the aim is to have BLOODHOUND SSC ready to roll out for UK runway trials in Q2 2012 ahead of the start of high speed runs in South Africa and the climb to a new World Land Speed Record in late 2012 – 2013.

“After three years of working on a virtual car, Hampson, Cosworth, ACG and our other technical partners are helping us make it a reality at last,” said Chapman. “It’s a great moment for a team which has invested the equivalent of thirty years getting the programme to this stage.”

Children from a local school enjoy making balloon cars at Hampson Industries

Over 4,000 UK schools have already signed up to the BLOODHOUND Education Programme, which provides curriculum-ready resources to help bring science and maths lessons to life. This number is expected to grow dramatically once the car has been built. In addition, six million teachers worldwide will have access to the Project via Intel’s ‘Skoool’ initiative.

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