Getting a car to crest the 250-mph mark takes over 1,000 horsepower. Just ask the engineers behind the Bugatti Veyron or virtually any of the competitors at events like the Texas Mile. It's a heck of a feat to make a car go that fast. Now imagine you want to take a land-based vehicle and break the speed of sound. You're going to need a bullet on wheels that's powered by what are essentially rocket engines. That was good enough for Andy Green and the Thrust SSC that he piloted to the current world record of 763 mph.
Now say you want to go 1,000 mph... you're going to need quite a bit more power.
That's why Andy Green is once again ready to strap himself to a bullet for the ground, in an attempt to break the world land speed record. His new craft is called the Bloodhound SSC, and it's packing serious rocket power. This is power that needs to be tested, of course, and that's just what the Bloodhound team got to experience recently.
Along with rocket partner Nammo (I wish I had a rocket partner), a single hybrid rocket propellant propulsion was tested. Using hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizer and rubber as fuel, the team ran a controlled blast for ten seconds. This produced three tons of thrust. During that time, the oxidizer was successfully closed off at the end of the test and the full integrity of the motor was intact.
Incredibly, just to pump the fuel for the rocket, the team also required some serious power: they're using a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 borrowed from recently-announced partner Jaguar. Previously they employed an old Formula One engine!
A single rocket will be used for testing in 2015, and a trio of rockets will be clustered together for the record run attempt in 2016. Our calendars are already marked, and we wish the Bloodhound team supreme greatness (and safety) in this endeavor.