In context: A science and engineering promotional project for UK students is aiming to break the world record for land speed. Developing any such project may not be the most practical in terms of return on investment, but the educational aspects can help build interest in career paths that are in high demand.
Beginning as a private project in the UK to get students interested in science and technology, the Bloodhound supersonic car has fallen short on funding. Aiming to set a new world record for land speed, the 1,000mph hopeful is in jeopardy without coming up with another $33 million.
As it stands now, a Rolls-Royce Eurofighter jet engine is being strapped to rocket that theoretically will have no problem destroying the previous record of 763mph. Designed and tested by Norwegian defense contractor Nammo, the Nucleus rocket engines being used for the car reached an altitude of 66.5 miles when launched towards outer space.
Bloodhound will make use of not one, but three Nucleus rocket engines combined with the low bypass turbofan Eurofighter EJ200.
If further funding can be raised, the Bloodhound team is aiming to reach the 500-600mph range in 2019. Assuming successful tests as the car reaches closer to the speed of sound, a single rocket motor will be added in 2020 with additional rocket engines being added in 2021 to finally hit the 1,000mph mark.
In order to reach such high speeds, a lot of perfectly flat land clear of any debris is required. The UK does not have the luxury of massive lake beds commonly used for testing experimental aircraft, so a trip to South Africa is required. An 11 mile long bed nearly a mile wide has been cleared of loose stone for Bloodhound's testing.
Whether the project continues as a world record attempt or not will not have any effect on the education aspects of the project. The charity group affiliated with the project has other sources of income and plans to continue sharing knowledge of science and engineering.