The Bloodhound SSC hoped to be the world land speed record holders by now, saying in 2015 that they hoped to make an attempt the following year. But that didn’t happen, though the Bloodhound did make a couple low-speed runs at an airport last year. Now, the BBC reports, the company says they need £25 million more to finish the job.
Bloodhound Programme Ltd is already “under administration” after running out of cash, or in the British equivalent of bankruptcy. But officials told the BBC that a wealthy individual or another company could bail them out at any moment and still make their 1,000 mph dream come true.
The Bloodhound SSC was built in 2015 and is powered by a Rolls-Royce-built Eurofighter jet engine, with a rocket built by a Norwegian company—and used successfully for the first time last month—powering the Bloodhound SSC’s push over the sound barrier. But the BBC reports that the whole project could be shelved “in the coming weeks” if the team doesn’t get their money.
The project was originally slated to cost as much as £60 million, or around $78 million at today’s exchange rates.
“Once we have the funding in place, or at least visibility of that funding, and the team is back in the building, then 10 months later we’re out in South Africa,” said Mark Chapman, Bloodhound’s chief engineer. “We’re that close. This is a huge opportunity for global exposure. Nammo firing that motor was really important, really impressive.”
A new attempt to go 500-600 mph could occur as early as 2020 with the money, while an attempt at going over 1,000 mph could go the following year, both in South Africa. As it happens, today is the 21st anniversary of the Thrust SSC going 763.035 mph in the Black Rock Desert, a speed which has still never been topped. That project was led by Richard Noble and driven by Andy Green, both of whom have the same roles in the Bloodhound SSC project.