Can you drive –  at a thousand miles an hour?

Can you drive – at a thousand miles an hour?

That was the question put to Taunton Vale Rotary Club members when they met to hear  from Rick Sturge about Bloodhound - Britain’s latest attempt to shatter the land speed record.

Rick, who attended Taunton School and lived in Bridgwater, is one of those now involved in this exciting project.

Bloodhound is a jet powered car which he hopes in 2025 will attempt the land speed record. It has been built in the UK using state of the art technology and materials.

The project was started by Richard Nobel but ran out of money and in 2018 was taken over and re-financed by Grafton LSR. Since then trial runs have taken place in northern South Africa, where Andy Green the driver (Pilot?), reached 628mph.

Andy an RAF pilot, at the moment retains the land speed record of 763mph which he achieved in America with the jet powered Thrust car in 1997. Bloodhound, (named after the Bloodhound missile), intends to break this record, again in South Africa, but the team are looking for a new driver!

Bloodhound is equipped with a Rolls Royce EJ200 Jet engine, the same engine which powers the Typhoon Fighter Aircraft, but the power will be increased by the addition of a Norwegian NAMMO rocket, which combined will give 135,000 H.P. equivalent to 135 F1 cars.

The test strip at Hakskeenpan in South Africa is a flat area of desert where the temperature can reach 46 centigrade which reduces the power of the Jet Engine. So it is proposed that after reaching around 350mph, the rocket will cut in accelerating the car to around 1000mph. Bloodhound will have solid Titanium wheels for this attempt as rubber wheels would shred under the acceleration. Once this record is set it is unlikely that anyone will ever go faster on land.

Oh – and if you do fancy a drive, you’ll need to find at least a million pounds in sponsorship or funding and life insurance might become a bit of an issue.

(Bloodhound image copyright GraftonLSR )