A project will be launched today to build a supercar designed to take the land speed record to more than 1,000mph.
The Bloodhound Project takes off today at the Science Museum, in South Kensington, London, when scale wooden and plastic models of the car will be unveiled by a team of engineers and technicians.
The Bloodhound SSC will be 12.8 metres long, 6.4 metres wide, weigh in at 6.4 tonnes and have a top speed of 1,050mph.
The car will be powered by a Eurojet EJ200 and a Falcon hybrid rocket – each delivering 20,000lbs and 27,000lbs thrust respectively.
The project is led by Richard Noble OBE, who held the land speed record between 1983 and 1997.
Mr Noble, whose record breaking car Thrust2 travelled at 633.468 mph, said: “We have held the world land speed record for the last 25 years and we still hold it. There is early competition developing and we have to defend our record.”
Mr Noble said the project would tour schools across the UK, in a bid to boost interest in engineering.
He went on: “We have discovered during the Bloodhound SSC research programme that the education objective generates huge interest.
“We can share the Bloodhound SSC technology openly because there are minimal design restrictions for the land speed record vehicles and therefore competitive cars tend to be completely different.
“Thus an advantage for one competitor is not necessarily of value to another. Besides, in this sport because the challenge is simply so tough, that we all try to help each other.
“In short, we are responding to a national need for a high technology programme to advance engineering capability in Britain.
“The project is wholly dependent on innovative application of very advanced research and technology. We are confident Bloodhound SSC will stimulate a national interest in engineering technology in schools.”
Engineers from the University of the West of England (UWE) produced the scale model for the Bloodhound SSC, using computer-aided designs (CAD) from the design team.
The design team, led by John Piper, has worked with UWE engineers and technicians in secret since January 2008, using the specialist facilities at UWE to help realise the development stages of the project.
John Lanham, head of design and engineering at UWE’s faculty of environment and technology, said: “The Bloodhound Project has been an inspiration to all of the technicians and staff involved so far and we’re thrilled to be an integral part of one of the biggest and most exciting engineering projects happening in the world today.”
The Bloodhound SSC car will be constructed at a specially designed visitors centre. The project is expected to run for three years.