Date set for first Bloodhound SSC record attempt

Posted on 4 Jul 2016 by Jonny Williamson

October 2017 has been announced as the target date for the Bloodhound SSC 800mph record attempt - 20 years Thrust SSC set the current land speed record.

In October 2017, the team behind the Bloodhound SSC aims to beat Andy Green’s record of 763.035 mph (1277.98 km/h) and set a new World Land Speed Record.

The recent signing of major deals means the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) Project now has the necessary funding pledged to complete the car and start the countdown to high speed testing at the Hakskeen Pan, Northern Cape, South Africa, in Autumn next year.

The identity of the new partner(s) are due to be revealed in due course.

With Bloodhound engineers returning to the Project, having taken short term contracts elsewhere, a major programme of work to become ‘race ready’ now begins in earnest.

The team will now disassemble the 13.5m long streamliner, documenting the process in fine detail, to create the Bloodhound User Manual.

Given that, at some point in the future, engineers may be working on the world’s most complex racing car, at 2am, in the Kalahari desert, an accurate illustrated guide will be an essential piece of kit.

Bloodhound SSC will travel under its own power for the first time at Newquay in June 2017, in a slow speed (c.220 mph / 354 km/h) shakedown test.

Bloodhound SSC is presented in record attempt configuration, with its 2m-high tail fin in place for the first time.
Bloodhound SSC is presented in record attempt configuration, with its 2m-high tail fin in place.

This will also provide an opportunity for the team to practice live-streaming data and imagery from the car – a key aspect of Bloodhound’s mission to share the adventure with a global audience.

By this time the team’s Rapid Response and Turnaround Crews will have done extensive training ready to support high speed running in South Africa.

This will include rehearsing ‘the pit stop from hell’: an intense 40 minute period between timed runs during which time the car will be checked, refueled and made ready for the return leg.

This ‘race within a race’ is crucial to setting a record: in 1997 a delay of just a few seconds cost the team the top prize during an early record attempt.

Bloodhound SSC project director, Richard Noble commented: “This is probably the biggest moment in the Project’s history.

“Before we could only see financially a few months ahead, but now we can put our foot down and really go for it!

Richard Noble, project director, Bloodhound SS (Image courtesy of Stefan Marjoram)
Richard Noble, project director, Bloodhound SSC.

“We’re in this position thanks to the incredible support of our partners and sponsors, and the dedication and sacrifice of many people, including a skeleton crew who have held the fort and quite literally kept the lights on.

Noble continued: “Most of all it has been the amazing public response that has sustained us.

“Thousands of children up and down the country are racing Model Rocket Cars and there is tremendous public enthusiasm for the Project wherever we go.

“We have come through this difficult stage wiser, leaner and fitter. Bloodhound is now in Race Preparation which means the pace and the pressure will ramp up, but so too will the sense of satisfaction as we head towards our Car breaking the sound barrier for the first time, with the world watching!”