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Millions hear roar of the Bloodhound being tested in Newquay

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 04, 2012

  • A full-scale model of £10 million Bloodhound SSC inside a hardened shelter at RAF St Mawgan, Newquay, where the hybrid rocket system was tested

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The mission to produce the world's first 1,000mph car took a mammoth step forward as the engine was fired up for the first time in front of a global audience of millions.

But after months of planning, it was all over in just a few seconds.

Engineers behind the £10 million Bloodhound supersonic car project said they were immensely satisfied with the landmark test of its hybrid rocket system, which was given the once-over in a hardened air hangar at Newquay Cornwall airport.

Although stationary, the high-powered engine roared triumphantly for barely 20 seconds before satisfied engineers closed the machine down.

Experts said the next step is to analyse the data to determine whether it is safe to install into a vehicle.

Rocket engineer Daniel Jubb said: "The initial indications are that it went very well indeed. It is heads down looking at the data now, it is probably going to take us a full ten days to look at that.

"Then we will be preparing for the next firing."

The 28-year-old, who left school at 13 to run his own company with his grandfather, said he has been getting by on around an hour-and-a-half's sleep for the last few nights as the final preparations for bloodhound's launch were made.

He said: ''This was a very special test, it was putting the entire trial on public display. We haven't done all our development in secret and then just invited them to the last firing.

"Bloodhound is a fantastic programme. It is very important in the UK that we address the shortage of engineers. Less than an hour before we fired that rocket we had children in there asking questions, I hope that helps inspire the next generation."

Bloodhound is described as the largest rocket car of its kind to be designed in Europe.

A carefully selected audience of 400 people, including many local school children as well as long-time Bloodhound supporters and science buffs were given a close examination of the project's components before the rocket was finally tested. A full-sized replica of Bloodhound and its jet engine were also on display under shelter at the airfield.

As the world's media descended on the Cornish airport yesterday, so too hundreds of thousands of people logged on to watch a live stream of the rocket test on Bloodhound's website. It was estimated people from more than 200 countries witnessed engineering history being made.

It is hoped the vehicle will be able to reach speeds from 0-1,000mph in 42 seconds, with the landspeed record attempt on a purpose-built 12-mile track in South Africa in 2014.

The pencil-shaped car is 12ft (4m) long, 18ins (45.7cm) in diameter and weighs 992lb (450kg). It is expected to generate the combined output of 95 Formula 1 cars.

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