The race to construct the world’s fastest car is on, with the Bloodhound SSC due to smash existing land records and beat the 1000 mph mark. This jet and rocket powered vehicle has been designed by a British engineering team to reach speeds of 1,050 mph in only 42 seconds, far surpassing the current land speed record of 763 mph. The Bloodhound SSC project was launched in 2008 by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in Great Britain, but now faces competition from other global competitors including an upstart team from Australia.
The Bloodhound Supersonic Car
Costing a cool $30 million and measuring over 13 metres in length, the sleek Bloodhound SSC has been designed to cover the length of four and a half football pitches in little more than one second. With a combination of a jet engine, rocket, and Formula 1 V8 petrol engine, the car is built for pure speed. It also boasts solid aluminium wheels which are designed to resist the strong pull of centrifugal forces as they rotate at speeds up to 10,200 rpm. The project was sparked by a desire to inspire British engineers, but has had a larger effect of inspiring engineers across the globe. Although initial construction has been completed, the car must still go through an extensive trial period and is expected to break the 1,000 mph mark by 2016.
The car will be driven by Wing Commander Andy Green, who is the current world land speed record holder. He will lie in the car feet-first, and will experience a force equivalent to two and a half times his body weight as the car accelerates at such a rapid speed. To slow the supersonic car, Green must deploy a combination of airbrakes, parachutes, and disc brakes with a risk of blacking out as the blood drains to his feet. To prepare for the toll these forces will take on his body, Green is practicing flying a stunt aircraft upside-down. Further preparations are underway for this record-breaking race, which is hitting the mainstream car news. For example, next to a Ford Fiesta review on Motoring you’ll find a report stating that new IT infrastructure is already in the works to facilitate the live-streaming of this exciting global event.
The Aussie Invader 5R
Australia’s hard at work on a competitor to the Bloodhound SSC, which also is striving to break the 1,000 mph barrier. A team led by Rosco McGlashan, the current Australian Speed Record holder, is working on a new vehicle called the Aussie Invader 5R. This rocket-powered car will be fuelled with oxygen and bio-kerosene, for a fiery boost of power based on an Atlas V rocket. Like the Bloodhound SSC, it will be bolstered with massive wheels constructed from solid aluminium, which can turn at speeds up to 10,000 rpm. The Aussie Invader produces 200,000hp and is predicted to be able to reach 1,000 mph in as little as 20 seconds. However, this speed will be reached in stages, to avoid damage to the car and driver. The team has decided to stay inside Australia for their feat, either unleashing the Aussie Invader in Birdsville, Queensland, or in Kimberly, Western Australia. No trial date has been set, however.
Can the Aussie Invader 5R pass the 1000 mph mark along with the Bloodhound SSC? Along with reviews of other high speed vehicles, expect to see more in car news outlets about both of these contenders for the world’s fastest car title in the next couple of years.