The team now looks to 2018 for the first 800 mph record attempt.
The first test runs of the Bloodhound SSC world speed record project have been delayed due to funding issues. In a recent announcement from the team, Project Director Richard Noble said that new partnerships have been established with other deals still being considered. However, none of these relationships will bear fruit in time to make the team’s original target date for the record run, which was supposed to happen later this year.
“Interest from big brands is, if anything, increasing as we get closer to running,” said Noble. “While this is undoubtedly good news there is inevitably a time delay between pledges of support, contracts being signed and cash arriving. Anyone who runs their own business will be familiar with this and the need to be pragmatic when planning.”
The new plan is to attempt a record run at the Hakskeen Pan in Africa’s Kalahari desert at some point in the second half of 2018. In the meantime, the team will continue to tweak and develop the Bloodhound’s monopropellant rocket to generate more power. There are concerns that, as the supersonic jet/rocket car transitions from theoretical calculations to a fully functional machine, unexpected weight increases could cause it to underperform. Because, you know, they’ve only been working on this for a decade.
The Bloodhound SSC uses an EJ200 afterburning turbofan jet engine borrowed from a Eurofighter Typhoon as its primary power source. A monopropellant rocket will also be used to help push the car past the sound barrier. A supercharged Jaguar V8 engine is used just to supply fuel to the rocket.
Provided all goes according to plan, The Bloodhound SSC will first reach 800 miles per hour in 2018, smashing the previous record of 763.035 mph set by the same team with their earlier Thrust SSC jet car. Following that run, the monopropellant rocket will be replaced with a rocket cluster and the team will attempt 1,000 miles per hour, or MACH 1.4.
“It is frustrating to change our schedule again – we know everyone is excited about seeing the car run,” said Noble. “We want that too but our pace of development has to be pegged to the flow of funding.”