A prototype of a British-engineered supersonic car, powered by a rocket and jet engine to achieve the world land speed record of 1,000 miles per hour (1,609 km/hour), was showcased in Kolkata on Friday to inspire Indian students to pursue cutting-edge science and technology.
Engineers involved in the Bloodhound Supersonic (SSC) car project demonstrated to students at the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology in Kolkata about its various parts and their functions.
The sleek, pencil-shaped land vehicle (14 metres in length) is currently in development and is targeted to cover a mile in 3.6 seconds, the equivalent of 4.5 football pitches laid end to end per second.
“The project aims to showcase the best in science and technology and show what can be achieved. The prototype will inspire youngsters to take up research,” Sujata Sen, Director, East India, British Council told IANS.
“The Bloodhound Project is first and foremost an education project designed to inspire future generations to take up careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by showcasing these subjects in the most exciting way possible,” Sen said.
The world land speed record of 763 miles per hour is held by Thrust SSC, a UK team lead by Bloodhound’s Project Director Richard Noble and driven by Andy Green.
The car has three power plants, a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet from a Eurofighter Typhoon, a cluster of NAMMO hybrid rockets and a 650 bhp racecar engine that drives the rocket oxidiser pump.
Between them, they generate 135,000 equivalent hp, equal to 180 Formula One cars.
It weighs over seven tonnes and the engines produce more than 135,000 horsepower — more than six times the power of all the Formula 1 cars on a starting grid put together.
It is currently being assembled at the project’s Technical Centre in Bristol.
It is on schedule for roll out summer 2015 where it will undergo UK runway testing up to 200 mph (321 km/hour) at the Aerohub, Newquay. The team will then deploy to South Africa to begin high speed testing with the target of reaching 800 mph (1,287 km/hour)
Over 250 global companies are involved in the project.
The team will return to the UK to review the data and return to South Africa in 2016 with the aim of reaching 1,000 mph (1,609 km/hour).