It’s almost the end of April, the Easter disruption has cleared and we’re now making the final push to complete all the components and support equipment needed to get BLOODHOUND SSC on its wheels and on the ground.
It’s testimony to the stage we are at that I have been having meetings with our paint partners to book slots to paint the big bits of the Car. There will be more on this in a future blog, but for any car, aircraft or even spacecraft build, the moment you are talking seriously about painting the main structure you know you are winning!
Progress speeds up
With such a big assembly and systems integration team now on site, you only have to be out on the road for a few days with suppliers to see the remarkable change in the Car when you come back. We now have more people working on electronics and systems than we do bolting the car together – again that shows the stage we have reached in bringing BLOODHOUND to life.
We have had some additional help with assembly this month from the Royal Air Force in the shape of a team from 71 Squadron. If you happen to have an aircraft, metallic or composite, that’s been grounded with damage, then these are the guys who will come out to you to make it airworthy again. Their skill levels and work rates are quite incredible. In a short space of time they have worked with Terry – one of the highly skilled BLOODHOUND assembly team…who also happens to be ex-RAF – to complete two key chunks of the car. Well done all!
Finishing the fin and seat
Having been working on the components for the fin for what feels like a very long time, it’s great to see it come to life. The team has done the most incredible job – it’s simply stunning. It may be the hardest working fin on anything at this altitude but it looks more than up to the job, and it has been a pleasure to watch the parts we have delivered turn into the actual structure of the Car.
Another key delivery last week was Andy’s composite seat. For this we thank Real Equip for creating a ‘bead seat’, Hexagon for scanning it with a Roamer arm, Sigmatex for producing the weave, SHD Composites for creating the pre-preg and URT for producing the final carbon components. What’s really great is that each of these companies provided their services as sponsors. The final product is simply stunning and a great credit to all the companies involved. Andy’s 1,000mph office now has the ultimate seating!
Beyond building the Car
Running a 1,000mph car is not just about building the car itself, however. We’ve worked on “the stuff to build the stuff” – such as the fin fixture within which we assembled the fin – for a long time, but recently we’ve also had to start thinking about “the stuff to allow us to run the Car”. Support equipment is now starting to flow into the BLOODHOUND Technical Centre and over the coming months we have to deliver all the infrastructure to allow us to operate the car, which is a big project in itself.
During May the pace will keep increasing, but the team is delivering big time and with the support of our manufacturing partners the car will be on its wheels very soon – watch this space!