THE BLOODHOUND land speed record attempt is “very much still a live project,” according to outgoing CEO, Ian Warhurst in a statement on the team’s website today.
Although the Bloodhound LSR car currently resides at Coventry Transport Museum, Warhurst insists that the location is temporary:
“I want to make it clear that the museum is not a permanent home for the car. With such a strong following, the car should be on display and accessible to those who want to see it and visitor numbers at the museum over the past month have benefitted as a result. Its new location also gives Bloodhound Education a second base centrally located allowing them to continue their fantastic STEM inspiration in collaboration with the museum. Now that the car is on display, the team can focus its attention on raising the necessary funds to complete the final record-breaking phase.”
Giving fans renewed hope is the fact that the Bloodhound team’s contract with the Royal Air Force – to use low-bypass turbofan EJ200 engines from the Eurofighter Typhoon – has been renewed.
Warhurst is stepping down from the Bloodhound project citing personal commitments.
Stuart Edmondson, the Engineering Operations Manager of the project for the last five years, has taken up the mantle of CEO.
Originally conceived in 2008 to break the 763mph land speed record – currently held by the British line-up of Andy Green and the Thrust SSC – the goal was also to crack the 1,000mph mark.
The team fitted Bloodhound with an EJ200 engine, intended to take the car up to around 650mph, with a rocket motor to take it the rest of the way. Bloodhound also uses a supercharged V8 engine from Jaguar as an auxiliary power unit.
Initial testing in 2017 at Newquay Airport in Cornwall took Bloodhound up to 200mph.
In 2018, the project went into administration citing a £25 million funding shortfall, but was rescued at the last minute by Yorkshire businessman Ian Warhurst.
With the project back underway again, further high-speed testing took place on a twelve-mile-long track at the Hakskeenpan salt flat in South Africa where Bloodhound hit 628mph.
Finance problems once again seem to have caught up with the project as the combination of the Covid crisis and insufficient funding to fit the rocket motor meant that the opportunity for testing in 2021 was lost.
In the meantime, January 2021 saw Warhurst announce that the project and intellectual property were up for sale once again, though, as yet, a buyer has not been forthcoming.
The team had hoped that further testing in South Africa in 2022 would see Andy Green break his own record by taking Bloodhound beyond the 800mph mark. This now looks unlikely.
Until further funding is secured, those who want to see Bloodhound in the flesh can do so at the Coventry Transport Museum.
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