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1,000-MPH Car Nearing Testing Phase

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On: Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 5:24PM | By: Chris Weiss

1,000-MPH Car Nearing Testing Phase

When it comes to production cars and speed, the 268-mph Bugatti Veyron Super Sport reigns supreme. But, if you're willing to invest millions toward building a massive, bullet-shaped vessel powered by a series of F1, jet, and rocket engines, then you're looking at numbers surpassing three times the speed of the Bugatti Veyron. The current absolute land speed record—you know the kind that's achieved on dried salt flats, as opposed to paved tracks—stands at just over 763 mph. But an ambitious team plans to best that by more than the world-record speed of the Veyron SS. The Bloodhound SSC has an estimated top speed of 1,050 mph, and it is nearing testing.

For most any other car, an 800-hp, F1-based engine would be more than enough for primary power. But for the 1,000-mph Bloodhound SSC it serves merely as a fuel pump. The modified Cosworth engine will be used to pump fuel into the 12-foot-long Falcon rocket engine. And, while you'd expect a 12-foot-long rocket engine with an F1 mill fueling it would be enough power, you'd be wrong once again. Because that engine will team up with a jet engine sourced from a European fighter jet. The jet engine will be charged with pushing the Bloodhound to 350 mph, at which point the Falcon rocket will kick in.

Most of the details of the Bloodhound's build defy the average person's basic assumptions of automotive reality. The rocket engine, which again is but a piece of the equation, puts out a mind-boggling 27,000 lb-ft of thrust. To help the average person try to grasp that figure, the Bloodhound team likens it to 1,000 everyday cars. The other half of the thrust equation—the jet engine—puts out nearly as much: 20,000 lb-ft. For its part, the Cosworth engine is charged with pumping nearly a metric ton of fuel into the Falcon within 20 seconds.

Another startling figure that puts things into perspective: the Bloodhound SSC should be capable of traveling five miles within 100 seconds. And it drives so fast that tires are out of the question; only metal or composites can hold up to the rpm involved.

Those type of facts make team leader and former absolute land speed record driver Richard Noble's summation sound like a major understatement: "We are creating the ultimate car; we’re going where no-one has gone before."

There remain many questions and obstacles in the development process, but the Bloodhound SSC's unprecedented F1 engine/rocket/jet system will soon be undergoing its first tests.

The actual world record attempt is currently aimed at late 2012 or early 2013.

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