I was lucky enough to photograph behind the scenes at the build HQ of the Bloodhound Project in Bristol. The team are aiming to smash the current land speed record (763mph) by taking their Bloodhound Supersonic car over 1000mph.
The vehicle has four wheels, weighs seven tonnes and is powered by a jet engine as well as an additional rocket for added measure. The combined engines provide 135,000 bhp which is most likely 134,850 more horse power than your car or six times the power of all the Formula One cars put together on any F1 starting grid. 0-1000mph in 55 secs! The statistics sound both exciting and totally terrifying.
This is lead engineer Connor La Grue stood in front of the tail or fin section. The fin is cruciform in design, usually seen on large aircraft and is essential for lateral stability much like the feathers on an arrow.
The mind boggling facts continue - The El 200 Jet Engine can shift 64,000 liters of air per second, the internal temperature of the rocket is 3000°C (hotter than inside a volcano). The forged solid aluminum wheels will spin at 10,200rpm, the 50,000 G force on the rim of the wheel at this speed would mean a sugar cube would effectively weigh 25 stone.
And who is the man or woman driving (piloting?) this mad machine. Wing Commander Andy Green, that's who. A1 alpha male. I come away from meeting men like Andy scratching my head wondering just where they make these types of guys? Fiercely intelligent, good looking, outstandingly brave and cool as a cucumber are just some of the words my wife doesn't use to describe me, but they could very easily applied to Andy Green. Proper chap.
I am so excited to see how the Bloodhound team progress. The attempt at the land speed record should take place in 2016 in South Africa..