Bloodhound’s supply chain builds momentum

Posted on 8 Mar 2012 by The Manufacturer

Conor La Grue get us up to speed with the UK’s project to build the speediest land vehicle ever - Bloodhound.

Conor La Grue is responsible for establishing and maintaining the supply chain to produce the incredible range of components and materials required to both build and run the fastest land vehicle in history.

The Bloodhound Super Sonic Car project is led by Richard Noble OBE and aims to inspire a new generation of engineering talent and enthusiasm. Collaborative design, build and manufacture of the car which will exceed 1000mph now benefits from the support of an international team of specialist suppliers, including 2011 Manufacturer of the Year Award winner, Cosworth.

Find out more at

Conor La Grue, product sponsorship lead at Bloodhound

Time is relative isn’t it? It doesn’t feel like a month since I sat down to write my last TM blog!

I think it’s the same for people in any high pressure, high paced project, no matter what the industry. Time can so quickly become something you feel like you’re constantly fighting against.

So I’m trying to be friends with time at the moment, as we all have a huge amount to do and a very large Rolex clock on the wall helping to remind us to make the most of every moment! With another round of funding just arrived from our official timing partner Rolex, we’re all working hard to make every moment valuable for the project and it certainly feels like we’re winning!

February brought our end target into sharp relief. Key meetings took place on the design and build of both the fin, which is now a very significant Aerospace structure indeed, and the wheels both UK Runway and Desert which remain a huge and complex challenge in their own right.

With the contractual stages not too far ahead I look forwards to naming names in due course. What that means in real terms is that all the primary structure is under way now and its testimony to many years hard work from the entire team to get to this stage.

As with any supply chain this fast moving and complex, were always being challenged, and the last month has again presented its fair share.

We hit a resource roadblock on CNC programming earlier this month, which I’m pleased to report our partners Jaivel have now cleared for us! With additional resource from both theirUKand inIndiaoffices coming quickly on line.

Bloodhound's new Rolex clock

While we’re short of Engineers here in the UK, India and China alone are producing over a million Engineering graduates a year. We are very lucky to be partnered with a company that is growing and investing in high quality staff in both the UK and Indian markets and so is able to turn on resource in short order to get us moving again – thanks Jaivel!

With our design office resource having increased significantly since November the pace of drawing release for manufacture from the team is ever increasing. We’ve had great support recently on the lower chassis build with Thyssen Krupp getting material into both Hampson and Amada with the teams on both sites quickly producing parts. It won’t be very long before we start to do trial assembly of the lower chassis on the fixture which was designed, built and commissioned by Manufax in record time just before the winter break.

Hampson working on the rear chassis

While the Hampson Group work to unlock company funding across multiple paths with the parent company offering itself up for sale on the 14th of February – their commitment to Bloodhound on the site where the rear chassis build project is based is unwavering. The team on the ground at BHW Composites,Wigan, have done extraordinary work and the individuals involved are so committed it’s truly an inspiration to all of us involved.

February was interesting on other fronts too – having a few minutes to chat with the Deputy PM and the Secretary of state for BIS (AKA Nick and Vince) at the BIS Manufacturing Summit in Bristol. Both of them totally ‘get’ the importance of getting more kids fired up about Science, Technology Engineering and Maths and how Bloodhound was helping achieve that aim was great!

You’re never sure if you’ve got your point across to politicians, as these guys are constantly being talked at, but when the Deputy PM mentioned the good work Bloodhound was doing, in his speech to all those present from the great and the good of UK manufacturing, we knew we’d got our message across!

Growth is key now for our supply chain over the coming month –

Conor, Nick and Vince get friendly at the Manufacturing Summit in Bristol

I’ve got to keep pace with the release of drawings! –  if you’ve not already registered to be a supplier for the most advanced land vehicle in human history  – then register your details here to receive updates for “Design and Make” and “Make only” work packages as there released over the coming months.