Land speed record: Record breakers

10th June 2010

Design engineer Annie Berrisford gives her fourth insider’s view on the BLOODHOUND SCC team’s attempt to smash the land speed record – and break the 1000 mph barrier in the process. Follow the car’s progress with Annie’s exclusive monthly blog for Focus.

Entry 4 previous next>

It's been a busy few weeks in the BLOODHOUND office, with a change to the team as well a different approach to the car’s design and build. The next few weeks will see the fallout of this approach and hopefully some significant progress too.

Mark Chapman has been appointed our new Chief Engineer. Last week we had a full engineering team meeting to identify the questions we need to answer before we can move forward with the design. Rather surprisingly (and reassuringly), the list wasn’t too long. We prioritised areas of research to progress the engineering, such as what size fin we’re likely to need. The car is being designed to be able to run with varying fin sizes, but it’s important that we know what sort of loads the chassis frame must be capable of reacting to.

The BLOODHOUND Aerodynamics team recently resolved the issue of excessive tail lift at supersonic speeds, as you can see in the animation below.

Amidst all these changes, some of the team went on an excursion to the Coventry Transport Museum to see Thrust SSC and Thrust II, the cars which set the first supersonic world land speed record. Each of us went with our own objective. For me, it was great to be able to look at all of the access panels and the parachute attachments at the rear of the car. It was very interesting to observe the wear and tear on Thrust SSC. It makes you realise just how tough an environment the car is running in, and that BLOODHOUND must be designed with maintenance in mind.

Land speed record BLOODHOUND

Jenna Gaff, one of the students on a placement with the engineering team, has been tasked with designing the pedal arrangement for the supersonic car so was very interested in seeing the layout used in Thrust SSC. We all had a fantastic time, and our thanks go to the staff at the museum who kindly allowed us access to the record breaking vehicles. 

Read Annie's other exclusive blog posts