Bloodhound supersonic car set for 500 mph attempt in October

Travel
(CNN) — The Bloodhound supersonic car will undergo a series of test runs on a specially designed racetrack in South Africa in October, as it moves closer to shattering the land speed record and hitting speeds of 1000 miles per hour (1609 kilometers per hour).
The British team behind the ambitious project, which has been hit by delays and came close to folding last year, hopes to reach 500 mph in its first runs at the car’s new home — a course recently built on a salt flat in the Kalahari Desert.

It will then attempt to break the land speed record, which currently stands at 763 mph, in late 2020.

Bloodhound SSC (Supersonic Car) traveled at 200 mph in test runs at Cornwall Airport in England in October 2017, after a years-long effort to launch the high-speed vehicle of the future.

The creation of the course in South Africa takes the project a stage further and marks a significant milestone for the team behind Bloodhound — the venture was close to collapse last year when the company behind it entered administration, before entrepreneur Ian Warhurst took over.

Since the vehicle’s relaunch in March 2019, the team has upgraded it with a parachute braking system, more air sensors and a fire detection and suppression system.

Data from its test runs will be analyzed in real time, in preparation for next year’s record attempt.

“We’re running the car on a brand new surface,” Warhurst, Bloodhound Land Speed Record’s CEO, said in a statement. “The wheels have been designed specifically for this desert lake bed, but it will still be vital to test them at high speeds before making record speed runs.”

He added: “This world land speed record campaign is unlike any other, with the opportunities opened up by digital technology that enabled the team to test the car’s design using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and that will allow us to gather and share data about the car’s performance in real time.”

It has taken more than a decade of design, research and manufacturing to build — all in an attempt to smash the current land speed record, set in 1997.

That was reached by former Royal Air Force fighter jet pilot Andy Green, who became the first person to break the sound barrier on land in Thrust SSC.

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