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Driver wanted to break land speed record with Bloodhound

Professional Engineering

The Bloodhound land speed record car undergoes high-speed testing in the South African desert (Credit: Charlie Sperring)
The Bloodhound land speed record car undergoes high-speed testing in the South African desert (Credit: Charlie Sperring)

Do you have what it takes to break the land speed record? The Bloodhound rocket car team is searching for a new driver to finally break the record, but the successful applicant will need the right skills – and £12m.

“Ultimately, we are looking for a driver that must bring the remaining funding required for Bloodhound to set a new LSR. So, if you think you have the right experience, skills and have what it takes to drive a car at over 800mph (1,290km/h), whilst providing the necessary funding, then we would love to hear from you,” said a statement on the Bloodhound website.

The British engineering project – which has already achieved speeds of 1,010km/h (628mph) without the use of a rocket engine during tests in the Hakskeen Pan desert in South Africa – said that plans for setting a new record remain the same, with the driver being the only change.

Former driver Andy Green, holder of the current land speed record of 1,228km/h (763mph) with Thrust SSC, will remain a “key member of the team” and will support and mentor the new driver.

Speaking to Professional Engineering after a ‘low-speed’ test in 2017 – only 338km/h (210mph) – Green described the role. “My job is to drive this car as accurately and precisely as possible. At idle, without touching the throttle, the car was stabilising… at 50mph (80km/h) on the taxiway.”

The challenge for the new driver will be far from easy. As well as the demanding requirements for skills and funding, the project has been hit by repeated delays over the years, caused by everything from funding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The online announcement said the team is nonetheless “extremely confident” in achieving its goal. “The team, track, and car have already been proven during our high-speed testing (where we achieved 628mph). The only hurdle that stands in our way is raising the required funding; we hope that this new opportunity will attract the investment/sponsorship required.”

The update does not say when the team aims to redeploy to South Africa, but an announcement will come once it has secured the required funding.

Now run by CEO Stuart Edmondson, the project aims to set the first net zero land speed record. “We intend to fuel the car without any fossil-derived fuels. Utilising synthetic (net zero) fuel strengthens our ability to inspire the next generation of engineers and create a lasting legacy, as we demonstrate that we can continue to push engineering boundaries in a sustainable way,” the website said.

A Bloodhound spokesman previously told Professional Engineering that the car’s jet engine would be powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which can be produced from diverse sources such as used cooking oil, sewage, household rubbish, or even CO2 itself. The car’s rocket will be powered by hydrogen peroxide, the spokesman said, and will have an electric pump system.  

The project is drumming up publicity for the record attempt this week with a roadshow featuring a full-scale replica of the car. Visit the Bloodhound website for more information.

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Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


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