Rocket car jet engine to be tested

2012-10-03 11:40
The Bloodhound supersonic car will attempt a land speed record in 2013. (Bloodhound)

The Bloodhound supersonic car will attempt a land speed record in 2013. (Bloodhound)

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Cape Town - A live rocket test of the Bloodhound car will be held on Wednesday to check whether the vehicle will be able to travel at the nearly 1 600km/h top speed.

The test will be conducted at the Newquay rocket test site in the UK and organisers expect a small local crowd and it will also be streamed via the internet.

The team hopes that if all goes according to plan, the supersonic vehicle will be driven at Hakskeen Pan, 200km north of Upington in the Northern Cape province in 2013.

According to the Bloodhound website, the rocket engine is a hybrid design based on a EJ200 jet engine, as used in a Eurofighter Typhoon.

Success at the test is not a given and the team has expressed anxiety about staging a smooth event.

"I have to confess to being slightly nervous about the event.  It's all very well us running the world's largest 'Engineering Adventure', promising to share all of the data as we go, and promising to conduct key tests in public, but doing our very first high-pressure firing with the world's media present, when we don't know exactly what will happen - what could possibly go wrong?" wrote driver Andy Green.

The vehicle is 14m long and weighs seven tons. It produces the equivalent power of 95 modern Formula 1 cars.

During the test, the rocket will burn for an estimated 10 seconds, producing 185dB in sound pressure. During the actual speed attempt, the vehicle is expected to reach the mark in 42 seconds.

The rocket was designed by Daniel Jubb.

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