Maverick will be powered by a Turbo Union RB199 Mark 104 which normally powers the Tornado F3 fighter. Turbo Union was formed in 1969 and is an amalgamation of Rolls-Royce (40%), Fiat Aviazione SpA (20%) and MTU Munchen GmbH (40%). The RB199 is an advanced three-shaft turbofan and the Mark 104 entered service with the RAF in 1986. It features the world’s first full-authority digital engine control. It is 127 in (3230 mm) long, 34.25in (870 mm) in diameter, has a dry weight of 1980Ibs (900 kg), and the basic Mark 101 produces around 16,920Ibt (75.26 kiloNewtons) with full reheat (a device which ignites unburnt oxygen in the jet efflux to create extra power). The Mark 104 in standard guise produces 20,000Ibt (80 kN) of thrust. At the target speed of the vehicle, that’s the equivalent of 38,000hp, although the quality of the installation – intake ducting, fuel system, etc is critical.
By comparison, Thrust 2’s Rolls-Royce Avon 302 produced 16,800lbt (74.6 kN) at the Black Rock Desert’s height above sea level, or just over 17,000Ibt (75.5 kN) with ram effect. That was about 34,000hp. McLaren’s projectile will have a target running weight around 6614lbs (3000kg), be 46ft(14 metres) long, 13.1ft (4 metres) wide and, with its current ejector seat, 6.5ft (2 metres) high. There are four wheels, two spread wide aft for maximum stability, and two side-by-side, Blue Flame-style, up front to minimise frontal area. Think of an arrow, With the centre of gravity far ahead of the centre of aerodynamic pressure, and you have the general idea. The wheels will rotate at 10,000rpm, and for that reason won’t be forged aluminium like Thrust’s, but probably forged titanium.