Video: Testing the Bloodhound SSC's Wheel at Over 10,000 RPM

Traveling at high speeds involves some pretty scary physics. That’s why the Bloodhound SSC project has been in the works for nearly five years and involves some of the brightest engineers from around the globe. The latest video to come from the British project shows the level of testing undergone for a single part, in this case, the wheel.

See, the Bloodhound SSC is a supersonic car designed for solely for breaking the 1,000-mph speed barrier. The ‘car’ is powered by a jet engine and rockets to achieve such a fast velocity. At 1,100 mph, the Bloodhound’s 35.5-inch (902.6-mm) aluminum wheels spin at a whopping 10,429 rpm. That’s 174 rotations per second!

At that speed, the wheel’s diameter expands by 1.6 mm (0.62 inches) and its temperature starts to rise. In fact, during testing the wheel started to heat up at the rate of two degrees Fahrenheit per second due to aerodynamic friction. At its max, the wheel peaked at 204 degrees Fahrenheit, only 100 degrees shy of aluminum becoming soft.

The Bloodhound SSC team is continuing to work throughout the year with hopes of breaking the 1,100-mph land-speed at a location in South Africa.


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