Jaguar is lending technical and vehicular support in an upcoming attempt to break the standing land speed record. Part of that support includes testing critical systems, such as the parachute, as seen in the above-featured video.

Making the actual record-setting run will be the rocket- and jet-powered 2014 Bloodhound SuperSonic Car (SSC), which is currently under development by an English team that aims to smash the standing record of 763.035 mph with a target velocity of at least 1,000 mph.

The Bloodhound SSC reportedly produces 135,000 thp (thrust horsepower) thanks to a Rolls-Royce Eurojet EJ200 afterburning turbofan and Nammo HTP hybrid rocket. It also has a V-8 from Jaguar Land Rover. Properly motivated, the car should be able to cover a mile in just 3.6 seconds.

To slow it down, the Bloodhound SSC uses multiple braking systems, including air brakes that create additional drag and disc brakes that are employed when the car reaches a relatively glacial 200 mph. It also has two backup parachutes.

Obviously, it’s best to make sure these things actually work before traveling at speeds over the four-digit mark, so Jaguar offered up a specially prepped F-Type R Coupe for test duties. As such, the Jag was extensively modified, by replacing the rear window and adding structural supports to attach parachute canisters directly to the chassis. A cockpit-mounted switch was used to fire the parachute at 180 mph, unleashing an instant drag force equivalent to one metric ton.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

The parachute test was performed at a former RAF military base in Bentwaters, Suffolk, U.K. At the helm of the Jag was RAF Wing Commander and current land speed record-holder (talk about a title) Andy Green, who had this to say: "Bloodhound SSC is fitted with both airbrakes and parachutes to provide guaranteed stopping power under all conditions. Each of these systems is safety-critical and each needs to be tested to ensure it will work safely, every time it’s needed.”

Everything went off without a hitch, as is evidenced by the video, thus offering a good deal of reassurance to Green and the Bloodhound team as they prepare for the record-setting run.

Green will also pilot the Bloodhound SSC in the record-breaking attempt.

Everything went off without a hitch, as is evidenced by the video, thus offering a good deal of reassurance to Green and the Bloodhound team as they prepare for the record-setting run.

The new record attempt will be made in Hakskeen Pan, in the Mier area of the Northern Cape, South Africa, where a fresh track has been cleared. The track is 12 miles long and 2 miles wide.

Jaguar’s specially prepped F-Type R will be on hand as a rapid-response vehicle, should it be needed. The coupe’s supercharged V-8 will also be used to prime the Bloodhound SSC’s rocket oxidizer pump prior to the run.

Last year, the Jag was used to perform another test for the Bloodhound team. The F-Type was driven at top speed toward an approaching, low-flying jet to help test communications equipment and generally be badass.

While lengthy, the extensive preparations are critical to hit the team’s target. Green will be asked to bring the Bloodhound SSC to a stop exactly in front of the Turnaround Team, which is tasked with prepping the car for its return run in the opposite direction, a requirement for qualification for the record. The turnaround must be completed in an hour or less. In 1997, the Thrust SSC team (of which Green was a part) missed a record by less than a minute because of a mistimed return run, but still managed to grab the current land speed record.

Jaguar F-Type R AWD Bloodhound SSC RRV

Jaguar Will Support Land Speed Record Attempt With F-Type R AWD Bloodhound SSC RRV High Resolution Exterior
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You can learn more info about the F-Type R AWD Bloodhound SSC RRV here.

Press Release

Today, Jaguar and the world land speed record holder RAF Wing Commander Andy Green performed vital high-speed parachute tests as part of the company’s on-going technical support for this unique engineering adventure: creating a car that can cover a mile in just 3.6 seconds.

The jet and rocket powered car, which aims to surpass the current record of 763.035mph before targeting 1000mph, has multiple braking systems including air-brakes (‘doors’ mounted on the side of the car which open to increase aerodynamic drag) and disc brakes (used when slowing down from 200mph). In addition, the driver has two back-up parachutes to ensure that the 135,000thp (thrust horse power) vehicle will slow down before the end of its 12-mile track in Hakskeen Pan, South Africa.

Stopping, quickly and controllably, is as important to setting a record as going fast. After the first run Andy must bring Bloodhound SSC to a halt exactly in front of Turnaround Team, who will be waiting to prepare the car for its return run in the opposite direction. This has to take place within one hour. In the 1997 record attempt, the Thrust SSC team missed a record by less than one minute because the turnaround over-ran.

To test this system ahead of the car’s first run, Jaguar, a technical partner to the project, fitted it to an F-TYPE R Coupé and ran it on a former military runway to over 180mph before firing the parachute.

Green, who was at the wheel for the test, said: "Bloodhound SSC is fitted with both airbrakes and parachutes to provide guaranteed stopping power under all conditions. Each of these systems is safety-critical and each needs to be tested to ensure it will work safely, every time it’s needed.

"Being able to validate the parachute systems in a safe and controlled manner using a high performance Jaguar F-TYPE sports car gives great confidence to both me and Bloodhound’s Engineering Team."

The test took place at the former RAF base in Bentwaters, Suffolk using an F-TYPE R Coupé with a modified rear window and structural supports through which Bloodhound’s unique teardrop shaped parachute cans were mounted directly to the car’s chassis.

Green released the parachute using a cockpit-mounted button, subjecting the F-TYPE to an instantaneous drag force equivalent to one tonne that dramatically slowed the car before Green brought it to a controlled stop.

The stability of the F-TYPE Coupé and its dynamic ability - it will reach 60mph in just 3.9-seconds with a limited top speed of 186mph - enabled the successful completion of a vital test for the Bloodhound SSC team and SES, Bloodhound’s parachute specialist, to validate the deployment sequence in a safe controlled manner without using the supersonic car itself.

The test, the second Jaguar has performed for the project following a communications test run with an All-Wheel Drive F-TYPE R Coupé in South Africa last year, also validated the design of the drogue chute, which is a small spring-loaded chute that deploys, inflates and pulls out the main chute.

Peter French, Chief Engineer for Powertrain systems, Jaguar Land Rover, said:

“The 5.0-litre 550PS supercharged V8 engine featured in the Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupé will drive Bloodhound SSC’s rocket oxidiser pump – a very exciting proposition for us here at Jaguar as we continue to support this world record attempt.

“The Bloodhound Project is bold, inspirational and an amazing showcase for cutting edge engineering. Andy did an excellent job behind the wheel of the F-TYPE today and we look forward to continuing to support him and the team on the ground when the Bloodhound SSC car rolls out for its first test.”

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