Bloodhound blog: the race is on

Posted on 1 Feb 2012 by The Manufacturer

Conor La Grue, product sponsorship lead at the Bloodhound Project, delivers the first in a new series of monthly blogs for TM, now that manufacture of the iconic car is underway.

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

Throughout 2012 Bloodhound engineers are cracking on with the design and build of the jet and rocket powered car. Circa 3,000 bespoke components need to be manufactured over the next twelve months to deliver a rolling chassis by Christmas and to complete the build by Q2 2013, ahead of high speed testing on the Hakskeen Pan, in South Africa.

The UK is home to a diverse advanced innovation, technology and manufacturing sector that represents over a quarter of the UK’s GDP – the premise that we don’t innovate, design or make anything anymore simply isn’t true. Bloodhound is helping to showcase open innovation and complex manufacture here in the UK, in a way that no other project can!

The team have completed a huge body of work to reach this stage and the focus has rightly been on the long lead, primary structure for the car. For those of you that have worked in aerospace and automotive sectors will appreciate that the rolling air frame/rolling chassis represents a large physical component but in design and manufacturing effort is the tip of the iceberg.

Our small team is growing quickly to increase the available design resource in-house to meet the huge workload. In a similar mode to many other UK technology companies, Bloodhound is also looking to push some of the final stages of design into its supply chain. This will enable the in-house team to focus on maturing concepts to the point they can be detailed for manufacture within the supply chain, on as broad a front as possible. By necessity we will be producing a huge number of components in parallel to complete this build on time.

To meet the tight deadlines that the team has set itself, Bloodhound is inviting the cream of UK innovation, technology and manufacturing companies across multiple sectors to take part in this unique global project. Offering them opportunities to showcase their expertise by quoting for Design & Make work packages.

A list of the currently available work packages can be viewed here: This list will be updated regularly, so please check back. We will be challenging interested companies to provide an aggressive and competitive quote as well as asking them to deliver to Bloodhound’s challenging lead-times that see the car on its wheels before the year closes out.

Autosport was a key show for us this January, it enabled us to interact with our peers within the Motorsport industry. This year we were lucky enough to be invited to share a stand with the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) – which is at the heart of a £10 billion a year UK industry. The MIA stand is a business hub and so a great place to network, with visitors from other industries and areas of innovation using it as a portal into the Motorsport community.

Its always nice to display car parts as they come out of production. At Autosport, we were delighted to show the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) Gearbox which will link the Cosworth CA2010 Formula 1 Engine to the High Test Peroxide pump – At full speed we will be pumping 38 litres a second at over 1200 PSI! – Huge thanks go out to all the partners involved with the build. Please come and read about what was involved by visiting the website at

Look out for Conor La Grue’s next update on the Bloodhound project next month.