The head of the Design Team and former world record holder Richard Noble (Project Director of The BLOODHOUND Project) are working to develop the first land speed vehicle that breaks the 1,000 mph barrier and will have its design underpinned through world-class research from some of the UK’s top laboratories.
The team worked with the scientists at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and Fluid Gravity Engineering (FGE) to advise the world-record bid team on two of the most high-risk aspects of the world record attempt.
Many materials were considered for the wheels including a choice of metals and composites that could be used in the design, providing reports on titanium and aluminium alloys, and metal composites.
Those two aspects are the wheel and rocket designs. To reach 1,000 mph they need to be able to rotate at 10,500 rpm without being damaged by the road surface or any stones that may be in the road. In addition they need to be able to need to be as light as possible to minimise steering and suspension forces, absorb all of the weight, down force loads and stresses and distribute this pressure without causing damage to the vehicle or the surface.
The vehicle will have the first ever mixed powerplant of a hybrid rocket motor and a jet engine that is currently used on the Eurofighter Typhoon. It uses cutting edge jet technology to provide the initial thrust and the novel rocket impulse to achieve the 1,000 mph target. The hybrid engine is being tested by a scale model that is only 6 inches long.
What do they think of the progress so far?
Well Brian Chapman, who is the Project Leader for NPL, said:
“When you’re travelling at 1,000 mph you don’t want to be worrying about your motor holding out or whether your tyres are up to it. That’s why NPL – with FGE and AWE – have spent the last year looking at every eventuality for both the wheel and the rocket motor designs. We have been closely examining the effect that materials properties will have on the rocket performance, the size and weight the wheels need to be to sustain the speed, and environmental effects such as a high speed impact with a small piece of debris could have. We’re confident that our work will help to ensure that Richard and Andy are able to safely oversee another successful world record attempt for the UK, and go faster than ever before.”