The Bloodhound supersonic car was almost on the brink of bankruptcy last year but has now managed to get back into the game and has its eyes set on the land speed record again. The team recently took to a lakebed in a South African desert for a test run during which the jet-engine powered vehicle was able to achieve its fastest speeds as of yet.
Bloodhound LSR was able to achieve a top speed of 334 km/h back in December of 2018 but ran out of funds. It was saved at the eleventh hour by Ian Warhurst – an entrepreneur – who helped the team move into a new headquarters and also gave the car a new paint job.
The team is up and running again and extracted 16,500 tons of rock from the dry lakebed located in the Hakskeenpan salt pan of the Kalahari Desert so that the car could enjoy a smooth run. The very first outing of the renewed Bloodhound LSR comprised of three separate runs. The first run had a static engine test before the steering and braking systems were tested at a speed of 160 km/h. Another run at 321 km/h followed this, and the car was allowed to ‘coast-down’ so that the team would be able to observe the rolling resistance.
The grand finale comprised of the EJ200 jet engine firing up its afterburners for a complete 12-second reheat, thus establishing its proper functioning and propelled the Bloodhound LSR to 537 km/h. This speed is a new record for the 11-year old project. This test run has also marked the starting of the high-speed testing program where the team is aiming to achieve a top speed of 800 km/h over the next four weeks.
Bloodhound driver Andy Green who is the existing land speed record holder, said, ‘We’ve had two very successful runs today, with the second run reaching a max speed of 334 mph – going from 50 mph to 300 mph in 13 seconds. There was strong crosswind gusting at over 15 mph, and we’ve established that this is pretty much the limit for running in the car. We’re happy because this was a successful test, now we’re ready to progress on to higher speeds.’