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Equipment supplied by Seddons Plant & Engineers Ltd is being used as part of an attempt to try and smash the world land speed record. The company is providing a total of five Honda Generators for use by the BLOODHOUND project team which consists of some of the world’s most revered engineering talent.
The project centres on BLOODHOUND SSC, a supersonic car that is designed not only to go faster than the speed of sound (supersonic) but to over 1,000mph. Weighing 7.5 tonnes and approximately 13.4m long, the design of the BLOODHOUND SSC is a mix of car and aircraft technology, with the front section comprising a carbon fibre monocoque (like a racing car) and the back portion featuring a metallic framework and panels (like an aircraft). The car will be powered by both a jet engine and a rocket, which together will produce more than 135,000 horsepower; that’s more than six times the power of all the Formula 1 cars on a starting grid put together.
BLOODHOUND SSC has been built to smash the current land speed record of 763mph set by another British car, Thrust SSC, in 1997. The first aim will be to do 800mph in 2017 on a special track that has been prepared for it in Hakskeen Pan, South Africa, but the ultimate objective is to push the record above 1,000mph. To reach 1,000mph, the vehicle will need to produce about 21 tonnes of thrust (210kN). This will come from a Rolls-Royce Eurofighter-Typhoon jet engine, working in tandem with a hybrid rocket from Nammo of Norway. The third power unit in BLOODHOUND is a supercharged Jaguar V8. Its job is to turn the pump that forces liquid oxidiser into the rocket’s fuel chamber.
Stephen Seddon, Managing Director of Seddons Plant & Engineers Ltd said: “We are very proud to get involved in a project of this stature, as our background is in engineering and BLOODHOUND SSC is emerging as an iconic initiative that is likely to stand in the history books of British engineering and manufacturing for many years to come. We will be loaning a total of five Honda Generators for re-fuelling rigs in South Africa during the world land speed record attempt, and Honda Power Equipment are loaning a further five Honda Generators. It is testimony to the quality of equipment that ourselves and Honda Power Equipment provide that we have been selected to supply these vital pieces of kit.”
The individuals involved in the BLOODHOUND Project have been hand-picked to ensure the attempt is a global success. The Project Director is Richard Noble who himself held the world land speed record between 1983 and 1997. Richard’s record of 633mph was beaten by RAF Wing Commander Andy Green in 1997 when he broke the sound barrier in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, USA, at an average speed of 763mph in 1997. For this latest attempt, Andy Green will again be the driver. The world land speed record is regulated by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The record is the average of two passes through a measured mile in opposite directions, a requirement first introduced in 1914 to reduce the number of people waiting around for a stiff following wind. To qualify for the record, BLOODHOUND SSC will need to cover the distance twice within 60 minutes.
It has already taken eight years of research, design and manufacturing to get the BLOODHOUND project to this stage and Seddons Plant & Engineers Ltd has joined other companies such as Rolls-Royce and Jaguar who are involved. Over 100,000 children took part in BLOODHOUND lessons or events in the UK last year, with many more involved internationally including almost 1,200 schools registered on the education programme in South Africa.
Facts About Bloodhound SSC
• Bloodhound SSC has 135,000 horsepower, which is 25,000 horsepower more than the QE2
• It only takes 55 seconds to accelerate from 0 - 1,000mph and just 17 seconds to accelerate from 500 - 1,000mph
• The temperature in the rocket is 3,000°C which is twice as hot as the inside of a volcano
• If Bloodhound SSC was fired straight up into the air, it would reach an altitude of 25,000ft
• The solid, 95kg aluminium wheels will spin at 10,200 rpm - 4 x faster than those on a Formula One car!
• At 180 decibels, the hybrid rocket could be louder than a Boeing 747 aircraft at take off