Illustration for article titled British Rocket Car Could Hit 1,000 MPH

The current land speed record is 763 mph. The British team that holds that record is seeking to shatter it with their cutting edge rocket car, the Bloodhound SSC. Their goal? To top 1,000 mph. But it takes a lot of science to create a vehicle capable of withstanding the forces in play at those speeds.The old record, held by pilot Andy Green, is over ten years old. The Bloodhound is being created with assistance from some of the top laboratories in Britain, including the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), and Fluid Gravity Engineering (FGE). Green will be at the helm once again when they make their attempt a few years from now. Not that the British have anything to prove - they've held the land speed record since 1984. The goal of the project, which is backed by the Ministry of Science, is to encourage interest in science and engineering among young people. So what are those impressive sounding agencies working on? A novel hybrid propulsion system, for one. The car will start off with a jet engine borrowed from the Eurofighter Typhoon. Then a pulsed thrust rocket will take them up to and above the 1,000 mph mark. But the rocket might be the easy part compared to the wheels. Engineers are examining numerous metals, alloys and compounds along with various shapes and configurations to figure out what sort of wheel could possibly handle more than 10,000 rpm, not to mention the occasional 1,000 mph stone. Oh, and supersonic shockwaves. All I know is, I don't ever want to drive a car that's had the word "ballistics" associated with it in any way. Image by: Bloodhound SSC. The groundbreaking science behind what aims to be the fastest vehicle of all time. [EurekAlerts!]


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