Bloodhound LSR hits 638 mph in test run

Having completed a run of speed tests, the jet-powered car will now be reassembled and fitted with a rocket before attempting to break the land speed record.


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Bloodhound LSR

Source | Bloodhound LSR

The Bloodhound Land Speed Record project recently reported speeds of 638 miles per hour in the most recent speed tests of its Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet-powered car, on its way toward breaking the world land speed record of 763.035 miles per hour.

According to the project leaders, this places the Bloodhound LSR car, unofficially, as the sixth fastest car of all time.

The tests took place on a 16-kilometer-long, 500-meter-wide track created in the Hakskeenpan lakebed in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. The team has been testing the car here in progressively faster runs beginning in October 2019.

Driven by Andy Green, the Bloodhound LSR car reached a maximum speed of 628 miles per hour (1,010 kilometers per hour) from a standing start in 50 seconds. However, the team says that the primary aims were not speed, but to develop the team, hone operational processes, deliver crucial data and prepare the car for the record attempt within the next 18 months.

“With the data we’ve generated from the high-speed testing, we’re able to start budgeting for the next phase of the project, which will need to be funded through sponsorship,” says Bloodhound LSR owner Ian Warhurst. “We know it will require up to £10 million, and the incredible social engagement with our high-speed testing program has proved that sponsors will see a return on investment and be a part of history.”

To record the data, the Bloodhound LSR car is covered with 192 air pressure tappings, plus a multitude of strain gauges, temperature sensors and accelerometers. These provided data on the pressures and loads that the Bloodhound LSR car was under at high speed. The data from these sensors was reviewed following every run to check if they married up with the predicted computer generated CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) models and suspension loadings.


Jack Townsend and Assistant Professor Ben Evans from Swansea University (Swansea, U.K.) reviewed the data and reported a correlation of more than 90% between the predicted CFD model and the data generated, exceeding expectations. According to Bloodhouns LSR, this gives greater confidence in the aerodynamic shape of the car as speeds increase, as well as a belief that a targeted new land speed record of 800 miles per hour, or even faster, is possible.

Next, the team is concentrating on raising funds to move into the final phase of the program. The Bloodhound LSR car is being shipped back to the U.K. by sea, set to arrive in early January 2020. At SGS Berkeley Green University Technical College in Gloucestershire, the car will be reassembled into desert spec configuration. 

In addition, Norwegian aerospace expert Nammo is developing a monopropellant rocket as part of a European Space Agency R&D program, which will be fitted to the Bloodhound LSR into the tunnel beneath the EJ200 jet engine. The new rocket will use concentrated hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) which, when passed through a catalyst, decomposes into H2O and oxygen, while generating the several thrust needed to propel Bloodhound LSR toward its record-breaking goals.



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