Over the past nine years we've been hearing a lot about the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC), which is ultimately intended to break the land speed record by travelling at over 1,000 mph (1,609 km/h). One thing that we haven't seen, however, is the car actually moving under its own power. That's set to change on Oct. 26th, when it's scheduled to be driven for the first time – and the public is invited.
The trial runs will be held at Cornwall Airport Newquay in the UK, and should see the car reaching speeds of up to 200 mph (322 km/h) on the 1.7-mile (2.7-km) runway. It will be driven by Wing Commander Andy Green, who will also be at the wheel for its late-2018 record attempt in the South African desert.
Before the October runs, the car will undergo a series of static "tie-down" tests in which its EJ200 jet engine (sourced from a Eurofighter Typhoon) will be run up while the vehicle is chained to the ground. This will be done to evaluate the air intake, fuel and electrical systems.
Assuming those checks go OK, the runway trials will then be used to assess things such as its steering, brakes, suspension and data systems. The trial runs will also give Green a chance to experience the sort of noise and vibrations that he can expect next year, plus it will allow the support crew to practise operating procedures, safety protocols, and radio communications.
Because of the runway surface on which it will be running in Cornwall, the car will be using pneumatic-tired wheels from an English Electric Lightning fighter plane. These are slightly wider than the solid aluminum wheels it will be using in South Africa, so some sections of its carbon fiber bodywork will be removed to accommodate them.
"The runway trials at Cornwall Airport Newquay will be the biggest milestone in the history of the project so far," says project director Richard Noble. "They will provide important data on the performance of the car and give us a first opportunity to rehearse the procedures we'll use when we go record-breaking."
Tickets for the event can be booked online.
Source: The Bloodhound Project/ New Atlas