Bloodhound LSR’s high-speed desert tests have concluded, and the team went out on a high, smashing the 600mph target.
In its final run, the jet-powered vehicle hit 628mph, or 1010kmh. Faster than the cruising speed of a Boeing 747.
To put that in perspective, the press release points out that at this speed, Bloodhound would be able to go from London to Edinburgh (414 miles) in 39 mins. Or for an example closer to the Kalahari Desert testing location, Cape Town to Johannesburg in 1 hr and 23 min. It is fast, yes?
The last run was not far off the 650.88mph achieved by Thrust 2 – the car that held the Land Speed Record from 1983 to 1997.
This is not Bloodhound’s final form. It will be returning in 12 – 18 month’s time with a Nammo ‘monopropellant rocket’ to go even faster.
The Rolls-Royce EJ200 engine – something normally found in a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet – develops 90kN of thrust, which is around 54,000bhp. The rocket will work in conjunction with this, bringing an additional 60kN to the quest.
It is this extra power that will help Bloodhound blast through the sound barrier to its initial 800mph target, and eventually beyond 1000mph. And although the vehicle has not gone supersonic yet, supersonic airflow has been detected under it by some of the 192 pressure sensors. This airflow was fast enough to strip away paint. Wild!