Illustration for article titled The 1000 MPH Bloodhound SSC Will Probably Kill Someone

When Bloodhound SSC makes its 42 second run for a 1000MPH land speed record, it'll use a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine and hybrid-rocket to deliver 47,500 pounds of thrust. Somehow, former fighter-pilot and driver Andy Green hopes to survive.


At 1000 MPH, the Bloodhound SSC will be traveling at over a quarter mile a second, 1,466 feet every second will be evaporating in the blink of an eye. For the entire trip Green will be experiencing at least 1G of acceleration, if not momentarily more. This isn't an attempt to simply best the world land speed record, it's an attempt to end it. The last guy to do it was the same Andy Green in the Thrust SSC and that attempt broke the sound barrier at 760.343 MPH, we're talking another 240 MPH on top of that.

The full scale Bloodhound SSC was unveiled this week at the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK. The car is being developed jointly by Richard Noble and Andy Green. The two men worked to break the sound barrier and now they've joined forces again for the Bloodhound program. What it represents may very well be the last in a line of land speed record cars stretching back to 1898. Why do we say this? Because even though the cars may get even more powerful and more aerodynamic, the kinds of speeds we're talking about mean there aren't many places on Earth big enough and flat enough to run them.

A run of 42 seconds will take up much of the Black Rock dry lake bed's 19 mile maximum run, where the last land speed record was set. There isn't much room for error between acceleration to maximum speed and shutdown and stopping. The reaction times necessary to actually steer a car at that speed are nearing the limits of what even a fighter pilot can do. Not only is a car featuring a Rolls Royce engine from the Eurofighter and a rocket engine tough to engineer, it's so expensive it needs the British government backing the effort. There is no doubt the Bloodhound SSC will be utterly amazing when Green makes the record run attempt, and hopefully nothing goes wrong or it'll go wrong very fast. We have to think you should enjoy the spectacle when it happes, because it may very well be the final chapter in the ultimate land speed record saga.

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