So you have 12 miles of flat in which to get to 1000mph and back to zero again rather than colliding with a rock formation at the end. That’s the challenge facing the Bloodhound team when they arrive at the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa for their Land Speed Record attempt. With the measured mile in the centre of that area, there is 5.5 miles either side to get to 1000mph and then back to a standstill. The average commute to work is 11.7 miles, so that gives you something to think about that the next time you’re driving to the office in rush hour.
The team has released a video graph to show how that needs to be achieved… and the numbers are, as you would expect, staggering. After 20 seconds, Bloodhound will be doing 350mph. Pilot Andy Green’s timing when firing the rocket has to be perfect to hit 1000mph as he powers into the measured mile. Within a few seconds, records set by Blue Flame, Thrust 2 and Thrust SSC will all be broken.
Once that measured mile has been covered – it won’t take long! – returning to a standstill is even more difficult. An air brake will shed 60mph per second, while the disc brakes can’t be used above 200mph because they’ll shatter. Once the car is parked, the team will have an hour to prepare it for a run in the other direction to claim the record.
The video below makes the process of reaching 1000mph sound like a formulaic process. The reality will be a dizzying cacophony of noise, vibration, and brutal g forces. It’s a world apart from a 0-60mph dash on your drive to work…