The Bloodhound gang

Posted on 1 Aug 2012

Conor La Grue, Commercial and Product Sponsorship Lead at Bloodhound, a project that hopes to develop a supercar that can travel at 1000mph, blogs on how its supply chain is contributing to the build.

Just a few weeks back I found myself on the Bloodhound stand at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. There were multiple Build Info Zones with videos telling the story of various components that are in manufacture. This was a fantastic resource for visitors asking how the build was going and also a great way to promote our partners’ involvement at the show.

Helping to set up the last few bits on the stand that morning, I added the Thyssen Krupp logo to the show car myself.  Their support has been vital for the rear chassis build. Stepping back and looking at its logo on the car, it felt like a pat on the back for a company that has helped to maintain progress on the rear chassis.

The rear chassis design and build is moving at a very fast pace now. The structure is a mixture of steels, aerospace grade aluminium and titanium alloys, and as I type, the last few parts of the lower section are in work in progress at aerospace manufacturer Hampson and machine tool manufacturer of laser cutters and precision press brakes  Amada.

Bloodhound is about to start releasing the upper chassis components into manufacture. Cambridge-based fabrication firm TWI have done a great job in validating our bonding method and have completed a huge amount of work in a very short time. We now have a strategy ready to go for when lower chassis assembly begins at Hampson.

I’m currently prepping for a visit to Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Bloodhound design engineer Mark Elvin to complete a design for manufacturing (DFM) review.

The team at Nuclear AMRC will be making the rear suspension sub frame, where the thrust from the rocket is reacted throughout the chassis. Nuclear AMRC are used to making very high precision one offs for use in validation technology in a high risk, high integrity environment, a skill set that perfectly suits Bloodhound.

The facility is truly amazing and will undoubtedly go a long way to developing and maturing the emerging nuclear technologies needed for the future of the UK nuclear sector, able to develop innovative British techniques and products for export on a global scale.

Take a look at the picture taken during a recent visit to composites manufacturer Umeco. It’s hugely exciting for all involved to see the canopy shape appearing out of the 2 tonnes of tooling that make the block up for the upper monocoque section. The team at Umeco are doing fantastic work and delivering to the tight schedule.

The monocoque will be the first of multiple assemblies produced in composites by Umeco and as soon as it lands in the work shop with the build team in early autumn, the integration task will begin in earnest.

As the summer break and the Olympics take place – it has been a race to get as much done as possible before holidays and the factory shut down. Once everyone is back after the break it will then be a push to get the rest of the primary structure into build and get the car on its wheels!