Bloodhound SSC might not need any tyres, but the team's support cars do.
Avon Tyres has announced a new sponsorship deal with the Bloodhound Project as the team gears up to break the land speed record and go supersonic with its Bloodhound SSC jet-powered car.
The Bloodhound was seen in action in October 2017, performing its first public runs up and down the main runway at Newquay airport in Devon. The innovative record attempt car was limited to 200mph for its first efforts as the team tested the Bloodhound in working trim and tried to make sure that everything was in good order.
As part of its support for the project, Avon says that it plans to supply tyres suitable for desert use for the Bloodhound Project support vehicles as well as producing a rubber tyre that will work for runway testing of the car.
A large area of desert is currently being cleared at Hakskeen Pan in South Africa for the Bloodhound speed runs – a team of people is already working round the clock to clear the route of stones that could impact the ability of the car to hit its top speed. A stone fired into the air by the car at 1,000mph could seriously damage the Bloodhound.
When the car ran at Newquay airport it was fitted with rubber tyres and had to have bodywork removed along the side of the car around the wheels in order to make sure the tyres could fit.
The Bloodhound car won’t actually run with tyres when it makes its official stab at the speed record in South Africa in 2019 – it will use metal rims made of an aluminium/zinc alloy that are designed to withstand forces of 50,000g and weigh 95kg each.
An initial desert speed run is planned for later this year where the car will aim for a speed of around 600mph, before making an attempt in 2019 on the record set by Thrust SSC back in 1997. The Bloodhound team will then return to South Africa in 2020 and try to crack 1,000mph.