In October 1997 Andy Green OBE and Thrust SSC broke the sound barrier to set the current World Land Speed Record of 763.053mph, Green and former record-holder Richard Noble OBE are now making a bid to increase the record to 1000mph (Mach 1.4). To put this speed into context, it is quicker than a fighter jet and faster than the low altitude speed record for an aircraft (994mph).
As well as being a world record attempt, the project is a true adventure in engineering. The four-year Bloodhound Project is intended to re-ignite interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics among the young, and raise the numbers embarking on careers in these fields.
Founder sponsor of the Bloodhound Project, STP, is famed as an engine fuel additive brand, and is no stranger to the land speed record arena; in 1959 STP sponsored Athol Graham, and Art Arfons was supported in his quest for successive World Land Speed Records in the early 1960s at the Bonneville Salt Flats, USA.
The car and team
An exotic combination of jet, rocket and piston-engined power will be employed in the 12.8m, 6400kg Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC). With Richard Noble OBE, a former Land Speed Record Holder and team boss from 12 years ago, once again fronting the team, and Andy Green OBE in the driving seat once more, the team certainly has the credentials to tackle arguably the greatest motor-sporting challenge on earth.
The project is based in Filton, Bristol, and will an exciting, compelling and enthralling arena in which to showcase frontier technologies, and for STP to educate consumers and future users on wider issues of engine efficiency.
Starting with an 800mph bid in 2009, the car will be further developed, with a 900mph run planned for 2010 and the ultimate goal of 1000mph will be aimed for in 2011. The venue for the record runs is to be confirmed, but Black Rock Desert, Nevada, the scene of Green’s record with Thrust SSC, is one of the locations being considered.
Significantly, to fulfil the aim of generating interest and enthusiasm in technology, the project has complete public accessibility, unlike other major motorsport arenas. Bloodhound SSC will be developed in the full public gaze at the team's HQ in Filton, where visitors will be able to see the car taking shape. Comprehensive and constantly updated websites, from both the Bloodhound Project and STP, will also act as a rich resource for full information as the project unfolds.
In addition to STP, other founder sponsors include Swansea University, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Serco and the University of The West of England.