The last time we heard from the Bloodhound Land Speed Record team, the Brits were looking for a new financial injection of about £8 million to keep the project running. Apparently, it’s very important for the team not to miss the cool weather window in July and August in the Hakskeenpan salt desert, South Africa, before temperatures go too high and make running the rocket impossible this year.
The jet-powered LSR machine already did an impressive test run, hitting 628 miles per hour (1,011 kilometres per hour) in approximately 50 seconds. Interestingly, the car wasn’t supposed to go that fast but the vehicle’s turbofan engine responds differently to throttle input at higher speeds. When test pilot Andy Green throttled back, there was approximately a half-second delay where power stayed full.
Gallery: Bloodhound LSR speed tests
In a new video by Top Gear, Green explains what it takes to control the LSR at such high speed and acceleration rates. 628 mph in 50 seconds equals about 20 mph per second at the start of the run and - as Green compares it - it’s the same feeling as getting from 0 to 60 mph (0-96 kph) in about three seconds. But that’s a constant G your body has to absorb.
Looking at the video and seeing how the LSR’s nose is slightly deviating from the straight mark line is seriously scary. Green explains all the little moves he does while controlling the car and his cold-blooded reactions are absolutely impressive. I mean - at about 350 mph (536 kph), “the car is starting to run nice and slowly,” “250 mph, we are now at slow speed.” Yeah, right.
From the uncovered screws which connect the body’s panels to the 159 air pressure sensors - Andy Green explains all the little details that make the Bloodhound LSR so special and actually capable of hitting 1,000 mph (1,609 kph). Check out the video at the top of this page.