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Rolls-Royce Backs Supersonic Car Project

Rolls-Royce has signed up to provide its EJ200 jet engine for the Bloodhound supersonic car project, which hopes to drive a car past the 1,000 mph mark.

The jet engine will help get the vehicle to 350mph, then ignite a rocket motor that will move the car at supersonic speeds. The current land speed record is 763mph, and members of the team that set that record are involved in Bloodhound. (That vehicle, the Thrust SSC, used a Rolls Spey 202 engine.)

Bloodhound combines car and aircraft technology, with the front half being made from carbon fiber, and the back half including an aircraft-like metallic framework and panels. According to the website:

Bloodhound SSC is a jet and rocket powered car designed to go at 1,000 mph (just over 1,600 kph). It has a slender body of approximately 14m length with two front wheels within the body and two rear wheels mounted externally within wheel fairings. It weighs over 7 tonnes and the engines produce more than 135,000 horsepower – more than 6 times the power of all the Formula 1 cars on a starting grid put together!

According to the Bloodhound site, the development team is making considerable use of finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in the 3D design of the vehicle.

The car is being assembled at a technical center in Avonmouth, Bristol. It will make its record breaking attempt on a dry lake bed in South Africa.

Below is a video of the Thrust SSC setting the current land speed record back in 1997:

Source: BBC

About Brian Albright

Brian Albright is a contributing editor to Desktop Engineering. Send e-mail about this article to DE-Editors@deskeng.com.
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