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Bloodhound SSC: land speed record attempt in 2017

The supersonic car will aim for 800mph next year, before targeting 1,000mph in 2018

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The team behind the Bloodhound SSC project will attempt to break the land speed record in October 2017. It comes after they secured fresh funds to end a ten-month pause on development.

New sponsorship – the source of which will be revealed at a later date – has allowed them to resume work on the vehicle, which had been sat almost completely untouched at its base in Bristol since last autumn.

Driver Andy Green will attempt to break the 763mph record that he set in the Thrust SSC in 1997, with a target speed of 800mph, on the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa. The full 1,000mph bid is scheduled for 2018.

“This is probably the biggest moment in the project’s history,” said Project Director Richard Noble, who also oversaw the Thrust venture two decades ago. “Before we could only see financially a few months ahead but now we can put our foot down and really go for it.

“We’re in this position thanks to the incredible support of our partners and sponsors, and the dedication and sacrifice of many people, including a skeleton crew who have held the fort and quite literally kept the lights on.”

He isn’t exaggerating. A 30-strong team was reduced to as few as ten during the lull, with those left behind looking after building maintenance and Bloodhound’s educational programme.

But now the number of personnel is set to swell again, and there is plenty of work to be getting on with before next year’s big run.

All 3,500 of the Bloodhound’s bespoke components need to be stripped down, a process that will be documented so the team can create an “essential” user manual for use out in the Kalahari.

When the car is eventually rebuilt, the fluids required to make it race ready will be fed into the system in preparation for a shakedown at Newquay Aerohub in June 2017. If all goes to plan, this is where the Bloodhound will travel under its own power for the very first time at a leisurely 200mph.

After that the car will be loaded onto a Boeing 747 to make its journey to the Hakskeen Pan, 22 million square metres of which has been cleared by a team of 317 locals, who shifted 16,000 tonnes of rock off the 12-mile strip. Which is a lot of digging.

For that effort alone, TG is crossing its fingers that the Bloodhound SSC doesn’t fall short…

Image credit: Flock London

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