The gang are on the move to a new base as they work against the clock on the machine's primary structure. Conor La Grue, product sponsorship lead at Bloodhound SSC, updates TM readers on the countdown to its world land speed record attempt.
“Me again. It’s early May – and where are we at? Well we are in the middle of moving lock stock and Land Speed Record Project to our new much larger build site in Avonmouth, Bristol-right at the same time as we are delivering and working on some of our largest parts of primary structure – the timing is challenging to say the least, but the move is born from necessity. The build has reached an advanced stage and we have out grown our current workshops. It’s a great time for the Project, the remarkable car we are building is coming to life.
“Delivery of the cups and cones, studs and D noses for the monocoque, mark an important milestone as the last parts required to join the carbon composite monocoque to the lower rear chassis. As I type, I can hear the rivet gun going down stairs as Bloodhound mechanics Marco, Viv and Tuffty do the full and final assembly of the lower chassis with the glue film in place this time.
“We are now only days away now from completing assembly and then lifting the fixture complete with the lower rear chassis attached and transferring it to the giant autoclave at the National Composite Centre,Bristol. They are very kindly managing the glue film cure process. Once baked, the lower chassis will come off the fixture and with help from those cups and cones and a little meteorology magic care of Hexagon, will be fully aligned and bolted to the eight tonne surface table at the new site.
The rear lower chassis will then be joined to the monocoque for the first time. Our four and half meters of lower rear chassis and three and a half meters of monocoque will very soon become eight meters of car – a huge milestone in the Project.
“The fixture for the lower chassis will then quickly become the fixture for the rail sections, these are six meter long assemblies running along the entire length of the rear chassis. The trellis section is then assembled between these rails and the top of the lower chassis. This is a teaser picture the first front five frames that make up part of the upper chassis section, they will be skinned in titanium and be home to the carbon intake and EJ200 jet engine.
“Thanks to Beagle Design and Sigma Composites for manufacture and to SHD Composites for supplying the raw materials – we will soon be into manufacture on the Jet A tank carbon enclosure (pictured) – this is the first of the large assemblies that will populate the lower chassis and these second order parts will increasingly become an area of significant manufacturing activity.
“Carbon composite work on primary structure continues at pace as you can see in this picture, URT Group have nearly completed the very front section of the car’s nose. They have done a very neat job of trimming and fitting the aluminium core material. The flow of carbon primary structure parts from URT Group is set to continue for a very many months yet – thanks again to SHD Composites for the materials.
“DC Electronics have done a fantastic job of the first section of the car’s wiring loom, the initial 2.2 km was delivered this week. Thanks also to Servo Interconnect for providing the Deutsch connectors. This first section of loom will be built into the lower chassis during this final assembly. As you can see in this picture the mechanics test fitted it this week. Viv is now making the bungs that will sit in the holes within the chassis D noses to support and secure the loom.”