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Video: Bloodhound runs in the African desert

The British land-speed record car is alive and well, as this video proves

Bloodhound LSR has taken its first steps to a new land speed record. These are early days – the film shows the car running up to 100mph on the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa.

All part of the plan, according to chief engineer Mark Chapman. “When we tested at Newquay in late 2017, that was all about making the car go, South Africa is all about making it stop, getting up to speed and then testing the systems – air brakes, wheel brakes and parachutes – that slow us back down.”

Over the next few weeks the plan is for speeds to build up to 500mph, enabling the team to gather data to validate the test models, plus test the technical infrastructure, how to get live data off the car, how the team operate in the desert.

“500mph is an interesting speed, as several things start to happen in that range,” says Chapman, “for instance up until 400mph the front wheels steer to change direction. Above that speed they’re rudders.”

The team is also being particularly cautious after the death in late August of Jessi Combs, killed when the American Eagle land-speed car crashed during a high-speed run at the Alvord desert in Oregon.

A direct assault on the current 763.035mph land speed record won’t take place for another 12 to 18 months.

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