Bloodhound SSC engine testby Alex Harmer on 3rd October 2012
Today, the hybrid rocket engine specially developed for the Bloodhound SSC land speed record project will fire for the first time.
The project is headed by Richard Noble, who broke the land speed record in 1983 at the wheel of Thrust2. Noble was also responsible for Thrust SSC, in which Andy Green broke the record - and the sound barrier - in 1997.
The aim of Bloodhound is to reach 1000mph, but perhaps more crucially, to inspire a new generation of engineers. Noble's objectives for the project are well laid out:
1. To create a national surge in the popularity of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects
2. To create an iconic project requiring extreme research and technology whilst simultaneously providing the means to enable the student population to join in the adventure
3. To achieve the first 1000 mph record on land
4. To generate very substantial and enduring media exposure for sponsors
The engine has been developed in conjunction with Cosworth, with the power unit based on their CA2010 Formula 1 engine.
Noble, Green and the rest of the Bloodhound team are currently set up at Newquay Airport in Cornwall, ready for the engine's historic first firing at 1pm today. To watch live from Newquay, visit the website here.
Images courtesy of Curventa and Siemens