The quest for the ultimate land speed record has driven some of the most daring, borderline insane crews and drivers to the limit over the past century, and the team behind the Bloodhound SSC is no exception. They are, perhaps the craziest of all, seeking to exceed 1,000 mph, or Mach 1.3, on the ground.
Three propulsion units play a role in the car's unmatched assault on land speed: an 800-horsepower, V-12 racing engine that serves as the workhorse that pumps the hydraulic power for the EJ200 jet engine and the High Test Peroxide (HTP) for the hybrid rocket strapped to the car's back. Those three powerplants are designed to take the car to the limits of current engineering and aerodynamics--as fast as Mach 1.4.
To get there without becoming the world's fastest shrapnel, however, they have to achieve aerodynamic stability, and that means eliminating lift on the rear of the car. If the rear end experiences lift, the rear wheels may lose traction, and the Bloodhound would spin out of control--a disastrous result, as there is essentially no possible safety cell that could protect the driver at speeds approaching 1,000 mph.
The team thinks it has solved the problem, however, employing a parametric study of the Bloodhound's aerodynamic loads across every element of the car, from the design of the wheel housings to the fairing lenth, the ride height, and more. The results of the study have influenced the shape to a point where the team thinks it has eliminated lift at the target speed. Even though the team has now designed its tenth configuration, there's still more design work to be done before the final shape is settled on.
The focus for the latest configuration is on the rear wheel and suspension strut area, as well as the boat-tailing of the rear end of the rocket/jet/piston car.
For full details on the car, and even more information on the team and its progress toward the 1,000 mph mark, check out the official team website below.