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Bloodhound SSC: new run planned for October

Lift off! Sort of, anyway. Bloodhound will run in anger in the UK at Newquay Aerohub in Cornwall

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We have lift-off! Well, not literally and let’s face it, this isn’t the first time we’ve got excited about Bloodhound turning a wheel in anger - lift-off for the British 1,000mph Land Speed Record challenger has been a spluttering, stuttering affair thus far.

But before I tell you about what the hold-ups have been, first the good news. Bloodhound will run in anger in the UK on Thursday 26th October 2017 at Newquay Aerohub in Cornwall. There, a date for your diary that Bloodhound promises it can stick to.

More than that, it’ll be running every day over that weekend through to Monday 30th as the team tries to gather as much data as possible while spearing up and down the 1.7-mile runway at speeds of up to 200mph.

Because brilliant though the CFD software is, there are some things the engineers just don’t know until the car is running. In this instance, the main one is working out exactly when the Eurofighter Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine can accept full throttle. The intake has been designed to work best at 800mph, so the engineers need to know how it performs when speeds are roughly a tenth of that.

So there you are, book your October half-term holiday in Newquay. You might remember that Bloodhound was due to be out in South Africa by now. A year ago Bloodhound told us they’d be running in South Africa this October. This has now been put back a year. Perhaps more.

Cashflow is the issue, and tied into that is the development of the Nammo rocket system that will boost the jet to deliver huge high speed thrust. All being well, if the latest round of funding lands soon, then Nammo will begin testing of the rocket system at the end of this year. That should put Bloodhound on Hakskeen Pan in October 2018, tilting at the land speed record currently held by Thrust SSC, set back in October 1997.

So, if you suddenly find £10 million (or even a millionth of that…) wedged down the back of your sofa, we know some men in Bristol who would dearly love to give it a good home. Get yourself down to Newquay in October and you can even hand it over to them in person.

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