People are willing to do all sorts of things to go really fast. Like sitting in front of a rocket on wheels. Aiming for a new world land speed record. Today on Engineering Works!
A racing team in England is aiming to break the existing land speed record of just over763 miles an hour, set in 1997. The Bloodhound Project isn’t planning simply to break the record, they plan to smash it. By close to 300 miles an hour.
The Bloodhound Project is depending on sophisticated engineering to get them there.
The core of the vehicle is a rocket. Thirteen feet by a foot and a half, coupled with a jet engine from an RAF fighter. Together the rocket and jet engine will produce about 47,500 foot-pounds of thrust. For about 20 seconds. That’s about 135,000 horsepower. If that’s not enough, there’s another engine. From a Cotsworth grand prix racing car, drives a pump that pushes liquid oxidizer into the rocket’s solid fuel to produce all that thrust.
The Bloodhound will take its shot at the record from a desert site in northwestern South Africa instead of the famed Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
Other racing teams, from California, Canada, Australia and New Zealand also are shooting for the thousand-mile-an-hour speed record. But several folks who claim to know give the Bloodhound team the edge, at least for now.
We’re done for now and heading home. At nowhere near a thousand miles an hour. See you next time.
Engineering Works! is made possible by Texas A&M Engineering and produced by KAMU-FM in College Station. Learn more about engineering. Visit us on the World Wide Web.
Start the discussion: Some people are willing to go pretty far to go really fast. We like going fast, too, but let’s get serious.
See a slideshow of the rocket-powered land speed record contenders: