Bloodhound LSR, the most powerful straight-line car on the planet, has reached thee exciting final phase of its build up programme as it prepared to head to South Africa and be put through its paces in a series of high speed shakedowns on the vast Hakskeenpan desert, Northern Cape.
It will be the Bloodhound team’s ultimate test to date as the Bloodhound LSR car builds speed over 13 runs in steady 80 km/h increments between mid-October and mid-November, culminating in mind-blowing speeds of 800+ km/h. That is as fast as a commercial airliner’s cruising speed, but on solid ground, and would immediately place it amongst the 10 fastest cars of all time.
Powering this ground-breaking machine will be an EJ200 jet engine. Produced by Rolls-Royce, the jet engine, normally found on the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet, creates a monstrous nine tons of thrust (90 kN), equivalent to approximately 54 000 thrust horsepower. The jet engine will be aided by a mono-propellant rocket system adding extra thrust when the Bloodhound LSR car attempts to break the land speed record in 12-18 months’ time.
Prior to departure, one of the final installation checks of the car’s state-of-the-art engine is to ‘dry crank’ it, checking all the systems are correct and working perfectly this involves running through the start-up sequence and turning it over with no fuel or ignition.
To perform the test the team will use an Air Start Cart ( a small jet engine) to blow high pressure air into the on-board Aircraft Mounted Accessories Drive (AMAD), gearbox, which will both spin the jet’s turbine up to required speed and, once spinning, generate 3-phase AC power for the car, which then sends power to the jet engine’s fuel pumps.
Bloodhound LSR Engineering Director Mark Chapman said: “Transforming Bloodhound from a runway spec car to one capable of reaching speeds in the transonic range on the desert racetrack has been no small task. The team of engineers, craftsmen, fabricators and technicians have pulled out all the stops to upgrade the car in just a few months since the rescue from administration last December.
“After many years in preparation, we can’t wait to get out to the Hakskeenpan and let Bloodhound off the least to see just how it performs.