Tech

Land speed record: Rocket vehicle Bloodhound LSR drives 800 km / h


Hot record hunt: On a salt lake in South Africa, a team around the British businessman Ian Warhurst prepares to set a new land speed record. The project is promising, although not always smooth.

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This is the week Rocket vehicle Bloodhound LSR first time faster than 800 km / h driven. It did 501 miles per hour (mph), 806 km / h. The team sees this as a good sign to exceed the existing record of 1,227.99 km / h. Andy Green, designer and driver of the Bloodhound LSR, set it up in 1997.

The test drives and later the record run take place on the Hakskeen Pan, a dry lake in northwestern South Africa. After the first time Green broke through the 800km / h mark, the car triggered fire alarm when braking with two parachutes. Emergency vehicles drove off, Green left the cockpit. However, there was no fire. Later it turned out that the alarm was a combination of the engine temperature and the high outside temperatures. That day was 36 degrees Celsius on the lake.

The goal is to create just under 1,000 km / h in this South African summer. After the end of the campaign, the British will return home with vehicle to evaluate the data of the tests. In about one to one and a half years, they then want to return to the Hakskeen Pan to set the land speed record and then possibly break the mark of 1,000 mph, almost 1,610 km / h.

Bloodhound LSR is just under 13.5 meters long and three meters high at the highest point. It runs on four wheels, each one meter in diameter. Fully fueled, the vehicle weighs just under 7.8 tonnes. The vehicle is powered by a rocket engine and a Eurojet EJ200 jet engine from Rolls-Royce, which is also the Eurofighter Typhoon drives. A Jaguar V8 engine drives the pump, which pumps the liquid oxidizer into the rocket engine's combustion chamber. Overall, the vehicle should have over 13,500 hp.

Driver Green is sitting in a monocoque, ie in a cockpit that consists of a single part. Like the monocoque of a Formula 1 racer, it's made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic – according to the designers, it's the toughest cockpit ever made for a car.

The project was founded in 2008 as an educational grant. The aim was to interest students in the so-called MINT subjects (mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology).

At the end of last year, the project had announced that it was insolvent and wanted to sell the vehicle. Warhurst took over and rescued the Bloodhound Project.