Bloodhound SSC’s Date With Destiny Set For October 2017
Years in the making, the Bloodhound SSC is now in the final stages of preparations ahead of its goal to break the world land speed recordby Kirby, on
The Bloodhound SSC’s attempt to break the world land speed record is now in the homestretch. The car is being prepared to finally make the attempt at the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa sometime in October 2017. This comes after the project was announced two years ago and a year after the car was first unveiled to the public.
It’s a landmark moment for everyone involved in the project and it probably wouldn’t have reached this point without the infusion of sufficient funding to get the car ready for its date with destiny. Fortunately for all parties concerned, the finances are now in place to complete the car as it attempts to break what will then be the 20th anniversary of the record set by Andy Green back in October 1997 when he went supersonic in the Thrust SSC on his way to clocking a top speed of 763.035 mph.
The record still stands to this day, but all signs seem to point to the 44.3-foot streamliner setting a new record as the team behind the project is confident that it will break 800 mph. In a nice bit of irony, Andy Green has been tapped to man the wheel of the SSC when it makes its record attempt. Basically, Green will be driving to break his own 20-year record in the process.
In the meantime, Bloodhound engineers will be working on the car to get it up to record-breaking standards. With the funding now in place, engineers will have a full year to make the necessary preparations, including disassembling the streamliner and documenting the process in great detail. This will be done to create a user manual, which will eventually be used as a guide when the time comes that the car needs to be pieced together for its record-breaking run.
The streamliner will also undergo tests with its power sources – the EJ220 and Nammo rocket systems – in place at the Newquay Aerohub. Once it’s determined that the SSC is fit for use, Bloodhound will begin testing the vehicle under its own power in June 2017 at speeds of 220 mph, or the equivalent of a crawl by the streamliner’s standards.
When that’s done, the car will then be airlifted to South Africa for it’s eventual date with destiny.
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Why it matters
It’s taken a while to get to this point, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m happy and excited for the people behind the Bloodhound SSC. I know that a lot of sleepless nights happened in the pursuit of setting the world land speed record and now that the final stages of preparation are upon us, a lot more sleepless nights will come for all those involved in the project.
Personally, I’m rooting for the Bloodhound SSC to set the world land speed record. I know it’s been 20 years since the existing record was broken, but wouldn’t it be nice to see another vehicle own that record? I surely wouldn’t mind, as I’m sure a lot of people wouldn’t either.
To be fair, there’s still a lot of work to do before the streamliner is ready to set any sort of records. It’s no coincidence that the announcement was made this early. The people behind the project need time to get the get a lot of things sorted out before the car is ready, including what organizers describe as the “pit stop from hell.” Apparently, the record-setting run will also include a 40-minute period between timed runs wherein the car will be checked, refuelled, and made ready for the return leg.
I do hope that the Bloodhound will accomplish what it set out to do. A lot of people have invested time, money, and effort into making this a reality. All that’s left to do is to ensure that from today until it’s run, the whole project doesn’t suffer any unforeseen setbacks.