Rolls-Royce Lends Support To Bloodhound 1,000 Mph Supercar
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
While we often say “that car was flying” when we see someone speeding down the highway, the jet-engine powered Bloodhound SuperSonic Car (SSC ) would easily leave the most determined lead-foot in the dust. Fittingly, the vehicle first made its debut at the Farnborough International Air Show in the United Kingdom back in 2010.
Now, efforts to produce the supercar are moving into top gear.
On Monday Rolls-Royce PLC announced its support for the Bloodhound Project, an international education built around the attempt to break the 1,000 mph World Land Speed Record. Engine maker Rolls-Royce is using the project to promote engineering in schools as a way to encourage children to enlist.
For 10 British pounds (about $15), students can have their names inscribed on the fin of the vehicle. Rolls-Royce is providing the rocket and jet engines as well as financial and technical support for the Bloodhound supercar project. Engineers at Rolls-Royce further called for the UK to do more to inspire young people to learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
To date, more than 5,500 schools have signed up for Bloodhound-themed lessons.
“Cutting edge engineering keeps Rolls-Royce, and the UK, at the forefront of global business,” said Colin Smith, director of engineering and technology at Rolls-Royce. “We understand the fundamental importance of inspiring young people about STEM and know that more needs to be done. Sponsoring Bloodhound gives us an opportunity to showcase world-class British engineering and invest in our future.”
Rolls-Royce — which already has a long and distinguished association with breaking speed records on land, sea and in the air — is providing the supercar with an EJ200 jet engine, the type of Rolls power plant typically found in a Eurofighter-Typhoon. In its normal role this engine can generate 20,000 lbs of 90 kN thrust, which is used to power the twin-engine combat aircraft.
The car will use this jet engine to reach a speed of 350 mph before igniting a rocket motor to take it supersonic. The goal of the project is to break the current land speed record of 763 mph next year and eventually push it beyond 1,000 mph in 2015.
Bloodhound has been developed by a team of engineers headed by Richard Noble, who previously used a Rolls-Royce Avon engine to set a world land record of 633mph in 1983. Noble is joined by Wing Commander Andy Green, who remains the first and only person to break the sound barrier on land when he set the current record of 763 mph in 1997.
Green intends to make the record-breaking attempt with the Bloodhound supersonic car at a desert site in Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape of South Africa.
“Rolls-Royce´s support of the Programme is invaluable, their highly motivated ambassadors will help us reach many more schools and youth groups across the country,” said Richard Noble OBE, Bloodhound project director. “Their experience of working within a first class aerospace company makes them perfect role models for aspiring engineers.”
Past Rolls-Royce support in these endeavors led to the development of some of its most important engine technology. In the 1930s Rolls-Royce provided its ℠Type R´ engine, which was used in numerous boats and cars, and experience in the ℠R´ resulted in the use of improved materials, supercharger technology and enhanced fuels. This experience was used to great effect in the Merlin engine, which saw use in World War II era aircraft including the Spitfire and Hurricane fighter planes and Lancaster bomber, as well as the American Mustang fighter aircraft. In other words, Rolls-Royce does know a thing or two about engines that can truly take flight.