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Bloodhound SSC to commence runway trials in November

Initial 200mph goal ahead of high-speed runs in 2016


Richard noble Bloodhound SSC

MORE than seven years after the project was announced, the Bloodhound SSC supersonic rocket car will blast off for the first time on November 17, 2015 at Newquay Aerohub, Cornwall.


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The world debut run will not see the vehicle hit its final goal of 1,000mph — an initial 200mph is the aim — but it will mark the official start of runs ahead of high-speed testing at the record-run venue of Hakskeen Pan, South Africa, in Summer 2016, when weather conditions will be optimal.

Bloodhound was due for 200mph runway testing in early 2015 but the project took longer to pull together than the team initially anticipated.

Bloodhound SSC is a British designed and built endeavour led by Richard Noble (pictured), holder of the 634mph land speed record between 1983 and 1997 with Thrust2. He was also the project director of ThrustSSC, the jet-powered vehicle which holds the current land speed record of 760mph, set by Andy Green at Black Rock Desert, Nevada in 1997.

Green will also pilot Bloodhound SSC, which combines a hybrid rocket engine with an EJ200 Eurofighter jet engine to generate a combined 47,700 lb ft of thrust, which the Bloodhound team says is eight times more power than all the cars on a Formula 1 starting grid combined.

Construction of Bloodhound SSC is ongoing. It recently had its titanium floor fitted, the 2m tall tail fin is nearly finished and carbon-fibre front monocoque has been painted to aerospace standards, says the team. The engineers also recently tested the wiring and switches for the cockpit control systems.

For the November run in Cornwall, Bloodhound SSC will then be fitted with air brakes and winglets.

Noble’s team says it will send a forward party to its South African desert base in April or May 2016, to be begin preparations for the high speed tests.