News: Bloodhound LSR Is Back On Track And Getting Ready For A High Speed Test Run In South Africa This October

Bloodhound LSR Is Back On Track And Getting Ready For A High Speed Test Run In South Africa This October

By News Desk
July 10, 2019

The Bloodhound Land Speed Record program has been through some incredibly tough times in the past year, but all seems to be back on track once again under the new ownership of Ian Warhurst, CEO of Grafton LSR Ltd. The team has just announced that it will be traveling to the Kalahari Desert in South Africa this October to conduct high-speed testing on the Hakskeen Pan. Having successfully completed 200mph UK runway trials at Cornwall Airport Newquay in October 2017 this next stage will test the aerodynamics, handling and parachutes at speeds of up to 500mph.

Bloodhound LSR CEO Ian Warhurst said, “I’m thrilled that we can announce Bloodhound’s first trip to South Africa for these high-speed testing runs. This world land speed record campaign is unlike any other, with the opportunities opened up by digital technology that enabled the team to test the car’s design using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and that will allow us to gather and share data about the car’s performance in real-time. In addition, we’re running the car on a brand-new surface. The wheels have been designed specifically for this desert lake bed, but it will still be vital to test them at high speeds before making record speed runs.”

The current land speed record of 763mph is held by Thrust SSC and was set back in 1997 by a team led by Richard Noble. Andy Green was behind the wheel for that record run and he will be piloting the Bloodhound at Hakskeen as well. “High-speed testing is a key part of setting a new world land speed record,” he said. “Building on everything we achieved in Newquay in 2017, we’ll learn a tremendous amount by going fast on the desert the car was designed to run on. This is where science meets reality and it all starts to get really exciting!”

The Bloodhound LSR is the most advanced straight-line race car in existence. Its Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine is normally found powering a Eurofighter Typhoon and produces a peak thrust of 20,000lbs, equivalent to 54,000 thrust hp, or the same as the combined output of 36 Bugatti Chirons. Once the high speed runs this year are complete, Nammo rockets will be added to boost the car’s top speed for the actual world record attempt.


The desert track itself is 12 miles long. Over 16,500 tonnes of rock have been moved by the local community to prepare the surface for the event. Bloodhound LSR will use a 10 mile long section to complete up to 10 runs, providing the team with many terabytes of information from more than 500 sensors and cameras built into the car. Embracing the digital age even further, the results will be shared with Swansea University where students will be able to analyze the data to validate the Computational Fluid Dynamics model ahead of the land speed record attempt scheduled for late 2020.

The team will then assess whether they will pursue the 1000mph speed for which the car was ultimately designed for. Figuring out how the Bloodhound LSR will behave at supersonic speeds will be quite a challenge and, for now, the first step is to test its systems at half that speed this October.

Images courtesy of Bloodhound LSR

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