Bloodhound chief engineer to give update on current build status of supersonic car

Issue date: 10 March 2015


Chief engineer Mark Chapman will give a technology and engineering update on the Bloodhound Project on 12 March as part of British Science Week 2015. The event will give those attending a chance to view the latest developments and build status of the supersonic car at the Technical Centre, Avonmouth, Bristol.

The Bloodhound Supersonic Car aims to inspire the scientists and engineers of the future by breaking the current World Land Speed Record and reaching 1,000 mph. The car is currently being built by a team of Formula 1 and aerospace experts. It will make its initial runs in the UK this summer and then undergo further high speed trials in South Africa in the autumn.

Bloodhound SSC is a jet and rocket powered car designed to go at 1,000 mph or just over 1,600 kph. It is 13.54 m in length, weighs 7.5 tonnes and the engines produce more than 135,000 horsepower. The test runs and the record attempts will take place at Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape Province.

Mark's lecture will outline the challenges and successes of the past year, including development of the hybrid rocket system and the design and manufacture of some 3,500 individual components. He has recently been included in the SEMTA's Engineering Hall of Fame for his inspiring work on the Bloodhound SSC.

UWE is a founder sponsor of the Bloodhound Project, and is leading university level engagement in the initiative, developing materials and case studies for use by partner universities. The Bloodhound team is making all the data generated available for use in education.

Dr John Lanham, who leads the project for UWE, said, “One of the key objectives of Bloodhound SSC is to raise interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects amongst young people to meet future skills shortages in the UK economy. At UWE we have seen a doubling of student numbers in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering since we started the partnership with Bloodhound. While national trends have been strong, we are seeing increases above these which confirms the positive impact the project is having.

“At this year's lecture we will be demonstrating two interactive educational simulations we have been developing that will bring Bloodhound into classrooms and lectures for pupils and students across the age range. We are really excited to be supporting Bloodhound and are looking forward to seeing the car rolled out and running this summer.”

At the Bloodhound lecture, UWE will also be showcasing the student-led UWE Formula Student project in which a multi-disciplinary team of students are designing, building and running a car in the UK national Formula Student competition at Silverstone.

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