To break the world land speed record, this team is building a next-generation supersonic car. And after years of aerodynamic modeling, advanced engineering, and high speed testing, it’s almost ready to break the sound barrier.
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The current land speed record is held by the Thrust Supersonic Car, or Thrust SSC. In 1997, Thrust SSC sped across the Black Rock Desert in Nevada at 763 miles per hour—breaking both the sound barrier and the world record.
Now, there is a new team aiming to create the fastest car in the world. Dr. Ben Evans, an Associate Professor in Aerospace Engineering, and his team have engineered a next-generation supersonic car called Bloodhound.
But, as to be expected, breaking the land speed record is not as simple as it sounds. Regulated by the International Automobile Federation, this competition has some ground rules: The car has to be controlled by a human onboard, it must have at least four wheels in contact with the ground, and the land speed measurement is the vehicle’s average speed over a measured mile the car does in two opposite directions within the span of an hour.
Bloodhound is designed to go speeds north of 800 mph, with a stretch goal of reaching speeds up to 1,000 mph. The car is powered by a rocket engine and aims to go progressively faster year after year.
So, Bloodhound isn’t just fast, it is supersonic. And from an engineering standpoint, this presents major challenges when it comes to an object traveling at the speed of sound while remaining on Earth like, for instance, how do you keep the car on the ground?
Find out how the team plans to tackle these engineering challenges and more on this Focal Point.
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The Bloodhound LSR Is Halfway to Its 1,000-MPH Dream
“The Bloodhound’s owners will continue escalating test speeds until they reach the car’s planned 1,000 mph in 2020. The tests are being conducted on a specially prepared series of straightaways on a dry lakebed in South Africa.”
Bloodhound car has 800mph target in its sights for 2021
“The team is now engaged in a review of all the data gathered during testing - from the roughly 200 air-pressure sensors dotted around the car, plus a multitude of strain gauges, temperature readers and accelerometers.”
Bloodhound LSR, the 1,000mph car, starts high-speed tests in October
“Not only do you need to design and build a car capable of that speed, you also have to find somewhere suitable to run it. The place that the team chose—as detailed in our earlier feature on the effort—is located in a dry lakebed in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa's Northern Cape Province, near the border with Namibia.”
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