South African supersonic car project seeks new owner

Supersonic car project seeks new owner

The Bloodhound Land Speed Record project is looking for a new owner for its rocket-powered supersonic vehicle. It is powered by a state-of-the-art jet engine, and also has a next-generation rocket motor.

Its jet engine is manufactured by Rolls-Royce and is normally found in a Eurofighter Typhoon, and produces a peak thrust of 20 000 kiloNewtons (kN). This is equated to the combined output of 360 family cars. The Bloodhound vehicle’s new owner would allow the team to break a new world speed record in 2022.

“The team now needs to install the Nammo monopropellant rocket, giving the car a top speed of over 800 mph (1,287 km/h),” the Bloodhound team said. “Once again, the car will then run on its specially prepared 12-mile (19.2 km) long dry lake bed race track at Hakskeen Pan, Northern Cape, South Africa.”

The cost of installing the rocket and conducting land speed tests could easily rack up to R166-million in expenditure. The project, however, is expected to recoup a large proportion of this cost through sponsorships and sales rights as it develops.

Chief executive and current owner Ian Warhurst stepped down from the project after first acquiring it in 2018.

“When I committed to taking the car high-speed testing in 2019, I allocated enough funding to achieve this goal on the basis that alternative funding would then allow us to continue to the record attempts,” Warhurst said. “Along with many other things, the global pandemic wrecked this opportunity in 2020 which has left the project unfunded and delayed by a further 12 months.

“At this stage, in absence of further, immediate, funding, the only options remaining are to close down the programme or put the project up for sale to allow me to pass on the baton and allow the team to continue the project,” he added, as reported by MyBroadband.

Picture: Bloodhound