The Bloodhound Land Speed Record project is up for sale again and needs a reported £8 million if the 800mph is to be broken…
Yes, we’ve been here before and Ian Warhurst reckons he’s done his job after saving the car in 2019 car and smashing the test programme target of 500 mph, hitting a peak speed of 628 mph (1011 km/h), proving the Bloodhound LSR project has got the legs but needs some real investment if the job is to be completed.
The current world land speed record of 763.035 mph (1,227.985 km/h) was set over 20 years ago by a British team including Bloodhound LSR driver Andy Green. Advances in engineering design, materials and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) since the last record was broken means the Bloodhound LSR can reach the 800mph providing investment is found quickly.
Taking the car to the next level will require the installation Nammo monopropellant rocket, giving the car a top speed of over 800 mph (1287 km/h). Once again, the car will then run on its specially prepared 12-mile (19.2 km) long dry lake bed race track at Hakskeen Pan, Northern Cape, South Africa.
It has been a privilege to lead this team of world-class engineers over the past two years. I was spellbound – along with a huge audience around the world – as we tested the car up to 600+ mph in South Africa. When I committed to taking the car on to high-speed testing in 2019, I allocated enough funding to achieve this goal on the basis that alternative funding would then allow us to continue to the record attempts.
Along with many other things, the global pandemic wrecked this opportunity in 2020 which has left the project unfunded and delayed by a further 12 months. At this stage, in absence of further, immediate, funding, the only options remaining are to close down the programme or put the project up for sale to allow me to pass on the baton and allow the team to continue the project. This gives someone with the right passion and available funding to effectively swoop in at the last minute and take the prize.
I will, of course, be cheering from the side-lines when Bloodhound smashes through 800 mph
Like many things, the project has been held back due to the unprecedented effects of the Covid-19 global pandemic. If a realistic attempt on the 2022 world record is to be achieved, work on the project would need to begin now or to ‘mothball’ the car in a long-term storage facility which could mean the project never being completed.
The likelihood of any future investment in the current economic climate is more distant than ever before with the 800mph record-breaking aspiration disappearing quickly over the horizon…