Science, Science and Tech

Land speed record hopes for rocket car

The peace in Newquay was shattered last Wednesday as UK scientists tested a new rocket engine.

The Bloodhound

The British team believe that once finished, their car will be able to travel at speeds of over 1,000mph and break the current land speed record of 763mph. However the car, named , will not be attempting this feat until 2014 as it is still in the early stages of construction.

To test the engine, scientists had to attach it to a static rig inside a hardened shelter at Newquay airport. As the engineers had predicted that the engine would make the loudest sound in the UK, extra preventative measures had to be taken; despite these, those closest to the Airport were far from disappointed when the ignition was turned.

The 18 inch hybrid rocket engine will be used alongside a Eurofighter-Typhoon jet engine in order to create the thrust required to go supersonic. The car itself will carry a Cosworth Formula 1 engine, which unlike in an F1 car will have no direct involvement in the driving and will instead will turn the pump that forces liquid oxidiser into the rocket’s fuel chamber.

The test run on Wednesday was incredibly important as it was the first time the team could see how the engines and the electronics worked together. However, these initial tests appear to have been a success and the team are now looking forward to completing the rest of the supersonic car.


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Juliet Muncey

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September 2021
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