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The Bloodhound Project BLOODHOUND reaches major milestone –build begins

BLOODHOUND reaches major milestone –build begins

Engineering News
Tuesday, 8 February, 2011

BLOODHOUND reaches major milestone –build begins

• 90% of BLOODHOUND SSC primary structure now in manufacture
• Roll-out for UK runway trials in Q2 2012

Having condensed thirty person-years of research and design into a mere thirty-six months, the BLOODHOUND Project today announces the attainment of its most significant milestone yet: the start of construction of BLOODHOUND SSC, the ultimate
racing car.

The BLOODHOUND Project is an international education initiative focused around a 1000mph Land Speed Record attempt. As the event is for unlimited designs the BLOODHOUND team looks for particular expertise, vision and commitment from those organisations helping to build this unique vehicle.

HAMPSON INDUSTRIES Plc, COSWORTH and ADVANCED COMPOSITES GROUP (Umeco) have just these qualities and thanks to their considerable support 90% of BLOODHOUND SSC’s primary structure is now in the manufacturing stage.

With 64 years experience supplying precision fuselages for the world's leading aerospace organisations, Hampson has unrivalled expertise with complex aluminium, steel and titanium structures. However, creating this supersonic prototype will test even their skills to the full.

The steel-lattice rear chassis not only has to contain 47,000lbs of combined thrust (equivalent to 133,000 hp) from the car’s Eurojet EJ200 jet and Falcon Project hybrid rocket, it must also cope with 30 tonne suspension loadings, air pressures on the bodywork of up to 13 tonnes per square metre and substantial additional loads generated by the tail fin, air brakes and parachutes.

Picture right: BLOODHOUND SSC Engineer Brian Coombs formally hands over one of the drawings (picture top of page)

BLOODHOUND’s chief engineer Mark Chapman handed over the first technical drawings to Hampson three days ago so work fabricating the rear chassis can begin this week.

Advanced Composite Group (ACG) is creating the front section of the car for Q1 2012.

Picture left: Hampson's engineers get their first look at the drawings

With a 30-year pedigree acquired in the demanding markets of Formula One, oceangoing racing yachts and aerospace, ACG is ideally positioned to deliver the composite design and manufacturing expertise required to build this astonishing vehicle.

Using ACG’s high performance ‘prepreg’ materials, the Group’s engineering division, Advanced Composites Engineering (ACE), will manufacture the entire front section of the car. It will also construct the master models and tooling from which critical elements of the car’s bodywork and structural components, such as the monocoque and nose, will be produced. The air intake and rear wheel fairings, both areas vital to the aerodynamic performance of the car and subject to extreme stress loadings, will likewise be made by ACE.

Mark Chapman said, “It was clear very early on that we could build a strong and creative partnership with the ACG team. We valued their input from the start when they helped us optimise our designs to make best use of composite’s capabilities. We’re looking forward to working with them closely in the coming months as we move beyond the design phase and start to build”.

Another key member of the BLOODHOUND SSC technical team is the world-renowned electronics, Formula One and aerospace company, Cosworth.

The Northamptonshire-based team is supplying BLOODHOUND with vital data logging and telemetry systems, as well as their state-of-the-art CA2010 F1 engine (picture left). This will drive the Falcon rocket oxidiser pump via a BLOODHOUND-designed gearbox featuring gears by Xtrac and an AP Racing clutch.

With construction now underway, the aim is to have BLOODHOUND SSC ready to roll out for UK runway trials in Q2 2012 ahead of the start of high speed runs in South Africa and the climb to a new World Land Speed Record in late 2012 – 2013.

Commenting on today’s milestone, Mark Chapman said, “After three years of working on a virtual car, Hampson, Cosworth, ACG and our other technical partners are helping us make it a reality at last! It’s a great moment for a team which has invested the equivalent of thirty years getting the programme to this stage.”

The build of BLOODHOUND SSC underpins a rapidly expanding education programme that is the raison d’etre of this ‘engineering adventure’.

 Over 4,000 UK schools have already signed up to the BLOODHOUND Education Programme, which provides curriculum-ready resources to help bring science and maths lessons to life. This number is expected to grow dramatically once the car has been built. In addition, six million teachers worldwide will have access to the Project via IT Partner INTEL Corporation’s ‘Skoool’ initiative.

Picture right: Children from a local school enjoy making balloon cars at Hampson Industries