The Bloodhound Car – Engineering Masters Behind it?
The Bloodhound SSC is a supersonic car that is designed to go faster than the speed of sound. The car is designed to go at 1050mph and the speed of sound is roughly 760mph. The vehicle itself is about 13.4 metres long and it weighs 7.5 tonnes. The length of an average aircraft is 50.15 metres and the weight is 155 tonnes, so the dimensions of the Bloodhound SSC are nowhere near that of a plane, but still extremely large compared to an average car.
The overall design is a mix of racing car and aeroplane materials, so it is of a hybrid construction. The front, streamlined section is made out of carbon fibre monocoque, which racing cars are made out of. This provides the driver with a secure safety area to ensure that it doesn’t break. The back of the vehicle is made out of metallic framework and various panels like aircrafts. The outer layer is made up of titanium, so this reduces the weight of the car, but it still stays extremely strong.
The SSC is going to be powered by a jet engine and a rocket and this will then produce 140,000 horsepower. The 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari car has a horsepower of 788, so this means that the Bloodhound has a horsepower that is 177 times larger than that of a Ferrari and it has 25,000hp more than the QE2. Using rocket power means that the car will be able to accelerate more rapidly and this can then limit the length of track that is needed. The engines that are being used are a EUROJET EJ200 and a Nammo hybrid rocket according to the Bloodhound website. The EUROJET EJ200 needs only one intake of air for it to be able to propel the car. In fact, this engine could suck all of the air out of a house in 3.6 seconds!
One of the rules for the car is that it has to stay on the ground at all times otherwise it qualifies as an aircraft. However, the car will be travelling at extremely high speeds, and keeping it on the ground will be a challenge. Engineers in the ‘Bloodhound Team’ are still continuously working to ensure that rear the end of the vehicle stays on the ground as it is susceptible to lifting off the ground.
To travel faster, the car must have an aerodynamic shape. Professors from Swansea University have been predicting the drag forces that may be on the vehicle from the start and designing the car accordingly so that there is as little drag on the car as possible. When the SSC has been built, it will be comprised of 22,500 parts. Compare this to a car which normally has 15,000 parts.
The famous fin near the back of the car is needed to keep the car stable and it keeps it pointing forwards so that it doesn’t deviate from the track. Surprisingly, the wheels do not have any tyres on them. This is because the rubber on the wheels creates friction and which slows the car down and having rubber on the wheels would mean that it would be harder to break the land speed record.
Throughout the project, 110 man years of effort have been put into the design, the build and the manufacturing of the vehicle since 2008. This work was only capable through the help of highly experienced people who have devoted years to the project. People that were selected for the project were some of the world’s most talented engineers and they were handpicked to ensure that the Bloodhound SSC is a global success. The skill of the people involved is incredible and to have thought of all of those individual details that the car is comprised of, is frankly quite astonishing. Now we have a year to wait and to hopefully see that the project will be a success.