The UK’s Bloodhound land speed record car has hit its highest speed to date – 334mph (537km/h) – during testing at Hakskeenpan in South Africa
According to a statement from the team, the third run – during which the car’s EJ200 jet engine ran with full reheat (a.k.a. afterburner) for 12 seconds – marks the true beginning of the high-speed test programme, as all systems necessary for running with reheat have now been tested and checked.
Three ‘run profiles’ have now been completed, starting at 100mph, building to 200mph – the previous top speed achieved at Newquay in 2017 – before hitting 334mph in Run Profile 3.
The car’s speed will be built up in 50mph increments over subsequent run profiles, carried out over the next four weeks, with a target top speed above 500mph for this testing programme.
Bloodhound driver and current World Land Speed Record holder Andy Green said: “We’ve had two very successful runs today, with the second run reaching a max speed of 334mph – going from 50mph to 300mph in 13 seconds. There was strong cross wind gusting at over 15mph and we’ve established that this is pretty much the limit for running in the car. We’re happy because this was a successful test, now we’re ready to progress on to higher speeds.”
Bloodhound LSR CEO Ian Warhurst said that he’s delighted with the way that the team has responded to a number of challenges since arriving in South Africa earlier in October. These have included a fuel pump issue which required them to recalibrate the fuel sensor; a problem with the Air Start Cart, the ground support system which acts as the car’s starter motor; and a water leak from one of the vehicle’s coolant tanks.
“I’ve been impressed with the tenacity of the team to work through a challenging first week of testing in the Kalahari Desert,” he said. “With all those issues resolved it’s exciting to be moving into the high-speed phase of the testing and get a max reheat run under our belts. Witnessing Bloodhound blasting from 50mph to 300mph in 13 seconds and on to 334mph was jaw dropping. British engineering at its finest.”