Bloodhound SSC will begin its record campaign in South Africa in Summer (UK time) 2015.
This new date is the result of an audit conducted by BMT HighQ Sigma, the engineering review consultancy.
Building a prototype vehicle capable of reaching 1000mph safely, with a small team and limited budget, is an audacious undertaking.
The only other manned vehicles capable of exceeding 1000mph (1,610 km/h, Mach 1.31) within Earth’s atmosphere are military fighter jets, although none can do this speed close to the ground where the air is thicker. Fast jets typically take 10 years to design, with a team of several thousand engineers exploiting vast accumulated knowledge and budgets of tens of billions of dollars.
BLOODHOUND’s core team of 34 is pushing into wholly unknown territory, creating the most advanced fusion of space, aeronautical and Formula 1 engineering ever attempted, with a budget 6,700 times less than the new F35 fighter.With this in mind, the engineering team brought in outside expertise to audit the Project’s design capacity and create a thoroughly researched timing plan before committing to final designs for the rest of car’s 3000 plus bespoke components.
The rationale for this ‘sense check’ is straightforward: no one has ever created a 1000mph-racing car before and BLOODHOUND SSC will only ever be a one-off prototype. With the car now in build and the rate of development accelerating, the engineering team chose to review operations now rather than risk discovering problems later on in the construction process.
Sigma’s plan has BLOODHOUND SSC completed by Q2 2015 and running on Hakskeen Pan in Quarter 3 that year. While the audit suggested that the engineering team would need expanding, it also validated the work done to date.
Project Director Richard Noble said, “You have to be humble when you’re taking on the laws of physics. We are the most experienced Land Speed Record team in history, holding the record for some 30 years, but that doesn’t make us complacent. Quite the opposite in fact – we know better than anyone how incredibly hard this is! Calling in independent assessors and putting our plans back by a few months is a price well worth paying because we can now press on knowing that the approach we are taking is the right one and we will have a car capable of achieving 1000mph – safely.”