Bloodhound Reaches Fastest Ever Speed As Testing Moves Into High Gear
The Bloodhound LSR team celebrated an important milestone early this week as the car hit 334mph (537 km/h) for the first time ever on the Hakskeenpan desert track in South Africa. This is the highest speed it has ever achieved, with the previous top speed being 200mph at Newquay two years ago. Even though these are still early days in the testing process, the new top speed is already well clear of anything a road-going production car has ever achieved.
While most of us might just get in and floor the throttle on the first day, the path to a world land speed record is far more measured and methodical. Each run that the Bloodhound does has been specifically designed to test its systems and mechanical components, and each subsequent run from now on will add 50 mph to the previous speed with a top target of over 500mph.
The 334 mph run that has just been completed also tested the Bloodhound’s afterburner system as the EJ200 jet engine was run with full reheat for 12 seconds and data from the parachute system was also collected.
Such a powerful machine requires a very skilled and experienced pilot, and there can be no man better for the job than current World Land Speed Record holder Andy Green, “We’ve had two very successful runs today, with the second run reaching a max speed of 334 mph – going from 50 mph to 300 mph in 13 seconds. There was strong crosswind gusting at over 15 mph and we’ve established that this is pretty much the limit for running in the car. We’re happy because this was a successful test, now we’re ready to progress on to higher speeds.”
While this phase of testing went off without a hitch, the team has had to overcome a number of challenges since it arrived at the desert track, from getting the jet engine recommissioned to repairing a water leak due to faulty welding. Bloodhound LSR CEO Ian Warhurst praised his team’s tenacity and dedication in resolving these issues and they are all looking forward to the next exciting phase of testing.
Images courtesy of Bloodhound LSR