Remember the ludicrously fast rocket-powered Bloodhound car? Years in the making, its creators are hoping not just to beat the current land speed record, but crush it with a 1,000-mph speed--and the Bloodhound is taking another step toward that goal as construction formally begins this week.
The Bloodhound was designed by a few of the key members of the Thrust SuperSonic Car team--the current world record holder, at 763 mph--and boasts a Eurofighter-Typhoon jet engine as well as a hybrid rocket booster (solid fuel propellant and liquid oxidizer). No surprise, then, that it's being built by some of the biggest names in the business: Hampson Industries, an aerospace company, is handling the rear chassis, while Advanced Composites Group will construct the front. Lockheed Martin is collaborating on the aluminum wheels.
The Bloodhound team is sending off designs to the parts manufacturers now, and expect to receive the first metal bits by Easter. Then they'll begin construction of models for testing, and hope to start the low(er) speed runs by early 2012. In late 2012 or early 2013, they'll head out to a dry lake bed in South Africa's Northern Cape, where they'll attempt to break into the four-digit speeds.
Check out our behind-the-scenes look at this new land speed race in our feature on the subject.
can go 1,000 mph without leaving the ground and not be rattled to pieces - that's incredible!...Because the thrust is generated by the jet and the rocket at the back, rather than traction from wheels, I wonder if they adjusted the aerodynamics to give enough lift so it treads "lightly" at fast speeds to minimize ground level friction?
And what's the point of this?
Awesomeness. And something about pioneering new technologies. But it's mostly pure awesomeness.
@B.V. your kidding right??? you come to a website DEDICATED to science and you actually have to ask "what is the point." Its called human endeavor. Its called doing something that has never been done before. Its called pushing technology to the next limit. Its called... wait for it.... LEARNING!!!! and yeah. awesomeness is a pretty good side effect.
What new technologies are they pioneering?
They are using already developed jet engines and rockets... I guess you could argue they are innovating aerodynamics, but they could do the same in a wind tunnel or computer model.
In fact, I guarantee they used wind tunnels and/or computer models to come up with the aerodynamic design they will use on this "car"... so really all of the innovation is done.
As far as "human endeavor" goes... that's BS. If I build a Jenga tower the size of the Empire State Building... who cares? It's "endeavor" but it's a f'ing retarded waste of time and resources.
Why not just go and dig and refill the same hole in my backyard for the "endeavor" aspect of it. "Oh look at me, I just dug and refilled the same hole 5,000 times--something nobody has yet been moronic enough to do! Wooohooo! What's going to be the next limit? 5,001 times??"
This is just technological masturbation.
@B.V. your name is misspelled. you meant to type. B.S.
building the worlds fasted land vechilcal, beating the previous record by 300 mph is a little different than digging a hole. my dog can dig a hole, if that is a HUMAN endeavor to you, then you should endeavor to get buried in one of those 5000 holes. and if you actually read the article they are basically building EVERY SINGLE part from scratch getting every part custom made. what about the x-1. do you even know what that is. Ever heard of a pilot named Chuck? guess not.
what about digging one hole 5,000 times deeper? instead of 5000 tiny holes. see that is an example of an endeavor. but you cant understand that. I guess you can only think horizontally and not vertically. I am called you 1 sided if you didnt pick that up. flat. cant think out of the box. hell you cant even see the box. and people are always trying to do things like build a jenga tower the size of the empire state building. Are you out of you Fing mind. If you could actually do that you would be a genius. that TRULY would be a human endeavor becuase it is basically impossible, but if humans could figure out how to do it, it would be amazing. It would take so much ingenuity to figure out how to balance it. I love how your example of what ISN'T an human endeavor is actually a PERFECT example of what a human endeavor is. It is using the amazing human brain to push the limits of what we think is possible. if people actually built a jenga tower that high, cant you see how that would influence how regular towers are built, or even how carbon molecules could be arranged to form stronger nano tubes. if would give us information how a very thin structure would stand up to wind and pressure. dude. you cant even see past your sleeve. I dot expect you to understand what a human endeavor is.
I agree with inaka_rob. B.V. you probably shouldn't be reading this site if that is your attitude.
I am blown away, I was awed when I read the story, and then I watched the video and now I am inspired.
" if people actually built a jenga tower that high, cant you see how that would influence how regular towers are built, or even how carbon molecules could be arranged to form stronger nano tubes. if would give us information how a very thin structure would stand up to wind and pressure."
Guess what? When someone wants to figure out how to build regular towers they go and build a computer model of all known variables and then build an actual tower (like the Burj Khalifa).
I'm all for basic research, and I'm all for investing in technology with the goal of solving one of the millions of problems the world faces.
Figuring out the fastest speed at which a vehicle with wheels attached to it can travel is one of those world problems that's VERY low on my list.
Kinda like figuring out "what's the biggest turd someone can poop?"
Who gives a crap? (pun intended)
I have to mostly agree with BV. While this is extraordinary, it's basically useless. How does this actually benefit mankind? If the money spent on this endeavor were used for cancer research or alternative fuels or advanced energy sources, etc. then I could see the benefit. Seeing how fast you can go in a land vehicle is basically a pi$$ing contest IMHO.
i give up. if you cant see the infite way we can learn and improve various things then I am talking to a brick. Brand new manufacturing techniques. fabrication techniques. aerodynamics research. They have to tweak the engines further than they were ever meant to go. even though I can list 10 ways this ONE car can improve 10 different fields of study I will simply stop here and say this. Doing something like this is to see what the human mind is capable of. It is to show that humans can over come the laws of nature and physics. we are over coming gravity and friction and doing something that has never been done before. A himan being will go faster WHILE in contact with the earth, than many bullets fly. you don't think that is an amazing feat of engineering. how do terds and holes in the ground compare to that? you are talking about things that monkey and dogs can do. I am talking about something only the brightest minds in their fields can do. if you are going to waste your hate on something you think is useless why not talk about Rims for cars or Reality TV. I mean the x-1 was a pointless air plane. it was simply the fastest human ever. But the plane has no real function other than to go a certain speed. What about sputnik. It was useless. all it did was beep so they could find it. it had no experiments on board. dont you see the the things learned in building this thing can go to other fields. you make me sad. who cares if we can do all these things in a computer. until it is done in real life in the real world we will never know if it can truly be done. Do you have ANY idea how many physics models are in a computer. They still spend billions smashing atoms to make sure the computer models are accurate.
Well, I guess I'll have to tell my father, who's dying from cancer, that he'll just have to die because the money needed to fund cancer research was not there because someone wanted to go faster than a bullet. Hey...no problemo!!!
@ BV & Sheldon Cooper... Just because R&D doesn't help you personally doesn't mean its worthless. If you feel that research in other fields is worthless you should give away your cellphone, car, computer, tv, nonstick cookware, non-cotton clothes, and most of the other things you own. Call the power company first and turn off your power because that stuff is just silly. We got to spend money on cancer research and making fuel from corn. Nothing else.
You got to remember almost everything you own comes from advancements in mechanical, electrical, chemical, and computer engineering.
What about the space program? With your attitude all they did was shoot expensive rockets into the air. Lots of good technology comes from R&D on crazy projects. No one knows what will happen if that car breaks 1000MPH. Its never been done before. Thats one great reason to try. The technology they pioneer in this project may help build better cars. You don't know.
BTW I totally agree with inaka_rob. It really is sad you guys dont get it...
Personally, the only thing I think this will prove is that you have to be an idiot to get in something like that. We'll see....time will tell. Money & resources wasted IMO.
@ BV & Sheldon Cooper...You guys should be ashamed of your pathetic minds. I too do agree with inaka_rob and Tk_5.0, and again its really sad you guys don't get it. Had it not been for far-fetched ideas like this, human life would have never been the same. Heck, we would be in the stone ages had it not been for brilliant minds who decided to invest their time and money on "pointless" projects like this. To you it might be pointless, and you might consider cancer research a high priority, and that's fine with me, but please don't come on a website that's dedicated to science and post ignorant comments like these. How dare you belittle someone's idea to advance human technology. If you think cancer research is more important, please dedicate your time to a website that is solely for cancer research. I read this article and had so many ideas on how this "pointless" project can be applied to something useful for human advancement, and I was actually excited to read the comments and ideas posted by other readers, for which I consider educational, but instead your comments and insights on this deterred myself and other reader's ability to learn. So again, please leave comments like these to yourself and respect the readers who actually found this atcile informative and educational rather than "pointless." Thanks!
wow, these two morons trolled you for days, hopefully they got a good laugh out of it, the morons would be BV and sheldoncooper, for the morons that couldn't figure it out
drchuck1 you are new to popsci. and I have already run into your pointless comments more than once in the past couple days. you are just as much a troll as I have ever met. I am sad to see you are a new edition to the popcsi comment family. with those trolls at least we have a decent scientific arguer. so far your comments have been 100% pointless.
@drchuck my bad i assume you were a noob from your noobish comments. like in one you called me a moron because you didnt even read the comments. simply other poeples comments about my comments, and they were mis quoting my comment.
yeah yeah....blah blah blah. I've heard it all before. You rednecks need to just go watch some more nascar and drink a beer and smoke a cigarette. yeeha!!! >:)
@Sheldon Cooper wow. yet another person who comes to a site based on science but somehow cant see past their sleeve. I LOVE science and I LOVE cars. I HATE nascar. and I dont drink beer or smoke tabaco. If you know anything about nascar or had any love of science you would understand why nascar is so boring and not interesting. it is stuck in the engineering and automotive DARK AGES. and this article has NOTHING to do about cars. it has to do about science. about humans doing something that has never been done before. from your post I guess you are beer drinking red neck.... but now.. what is lower?
"What about sputnik. It was useless."
Not really... Sputnik was launched with a specific purpose. The Russians wanted to verify their ideas about outer space, and lay the groundwork for future space activities (like launching nuke-satellites for bombing enemies).
It wasn't some dude who just said "hey, wouldn't it be cool to shoot a rocket into the sun??? YEAH! WOOHOO! LETS GIT 'R DUN!!"
I wouldn't have a problem at all if they had some goal other than "to be the fastest".
If they said "we are designing a revolutionary new suspension system that we hope to use on trucks in the US for shipping freight in order to improve fuel efficiency, and to prove how awesome this suspension system is we will demonstrate it by using it on the fastest ground vehicle ever built." Then, okay, go for it.
If they were testing some new "super slick paint" which they planned to sell to the military to coat planes with to reduce drag... okay, great!
Instead, they are just combining materials and technologies that already exist in a way that only seeks to advance one goal: to break a record.
So yes, in my opinion their intentions are the same as those of someone who jumps up and down on a pogo stick lot's of times to break the Guinness World Record for it.
You might be right... they might make an advancement somewhere along their attempts at fame--but they would have probably made the same advancement much more efficiently if they focused their goals on the advancement itself instead of on breaking records.
@B.V. "I wouldn't have a problem at all if they had some goal other than "to be the fastest".
If they said "we are designing a revolutionary new suspension system that we hope to use on trucks in the US for shipping freight in order to improve fuel efficiency, and to prove how awesome this suspension system is we will demonstrate it by using it on the fastest ground vehicle ever built." Then, okay, go for it."
THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE DOING!!!!!
"Instead, they are just combining materials and technologies that already exist in a way that only seeks to advance one goal: to break a record."
NO THEY ARE NOT! READ THE ARTICLE> EVERY PART IS CUSTOM MADE. do you really thin they can slap some old parts and go 1000 miles per hour. please remember the last record is 700. do you have ANY idea what an engiering feet that is. your car does 120.
I will say this very simply for you: IF YOU CAN NOT SEE HOW THIS PROJECT WILL ADVANCE MANUFACTURING, FABRICATION, AUTOMOTIVE, and AREODYNCI research than you are.... dumb.
"Instead, they are just combining materials and technologies that already exist in a way that only seeks to advance one goal: to break a record." where are you getting this info????
where???? if it is so easy. where is the car that goes 701? 702, 750 mph. 800 mph. etc etc etc. If it is so easy how come 1000 guys are not building a rocket car.
@BV okay. I am going to take a deep breath and try to explain this too the best way I can. Some guys want to build a car that can go over 1000 miles per hour. The avearge street car tops out at 120 miles per hours. the fastest car (none rocket powered) goes 250 miles per hour. You say they wont learn anything new about by building this car? is that correct? you are saying this will advance science ZERO?
Okay so the fastest car in the world in a Buggatii Veron. please you can look all this up your self. remember this car only goes 250 miles an hour. thats a big difference 250 to 1000 dont you think???? the most advanced car in the world goes 250. you dont think a car that goes 1000 would have some slightly advanced technology.
let me put some more things into perspective. The buggati veron. why do we need a 1000 horse power car that goes 250 miles per hour. Everyone can tell you that you have NEVER HEARD of the trickle down effect.
For example they needed an engine to make 1000 hp. its never been done. so what did they do. they made a new engine. first of its kind. a "w" engine. two V8s in one engine block. wow. so mow much smaller versions are all over the world. that is one simple example. and remember this car only goes 250 and it already added a BRAND new engine design after 100 years of the SAME configurations.
and you said "f they said "we are designing a revolutionary new suspension system ..." you would go for it.
THAT IS GREAT!!!! then you agree with me. and you do go for it. BECAUSE OF COURSE THEY ARE!!!
the buggatii veron can only go 251 mph. do you know why???? becuase of the tires. yes the tires. They think the car can maybe go to about 250, but the tires. one of kind tires that have to be hand made and were invinted and created JUST FOR THIS car. So this car has tires costing 80,000$ for 4 tires that can only go 250 mph. Hmm... now what do you think about tires that could go 1000 mph. hmmm would that take some amazing materials engineering to figure out something that would survive that friction but keep the car stable. wow. the best tire in the world goes 250 mph. now we need one that goes 1000 mph. no advance ment in science there!!!
do I really need to go on? its VERY difficult for an AIRPLANE to go 1000 miles per hour. they fly around 200-500 and cruise around 400. (remember the Bugatti) it goes faster than most planes do to take off. so if a car, on the ground, can go faster than most airplane in the air, you are honestly telling me you don't think any of the technology used and science learned could go towards the aerospace.
In the video the guy explains that Lockheed Martin supplied the wheels for them and did the math necessary to figure out the materials necessary to create the wheel (BTW, it is not a "tire"). (also they don't say it's some cool new alloy they had to invent to withstand such torment... just one that already exists and can be manufactured into a wheel by LM)
They also unveiled the final "body" for the car after computing simulations and wind tunnel tests.
I agree with you that they will probably learn at least something while working on this car... I am just saying they could learn the same thing by targeting their resources to learning "that thing" rather than towards breaking a record.
If they wanted to make the most resilient wheel in the world for freight train applications, their resources would obviously have been spent more efficiently simply developing that train wheel instead of this record-breaking car wheel.
The guy in the video even says that he hopes this car will inspire future generations to become engineers and think math is cool or w/e. That makes me suspect that primarily the purpose of this "car" is publicity rather than innovation or science... (as I noted with my first comment)...
And the reason dudes aren't making 1000mph cars in their garages is because most people don't have so much money as to build one. (and most of those who do are spending it developing cool new stuff like space planes or autonomous vehicles... stuff that is both cool AND useful)
"we're going where no-one has gone before," said Richard Noble, the Bloodhound project director.
your a closed minded person. its thats simple.
People with money can do whatever they please with it, because it. . . is theirs, not yours.
Welcome to capitalism ;)
If they want to.. uhm, re-break a landspeed record by hurtling along the ground at 1000+ mph.. so be it. They just better make sure to have it on video.
With that said, I've got to be honest, I'm not really impressed at all with the Bloodhound.. it's just basically a jet with wheels on it so they can say it's breaking the landspeed record :/
Their time/resources probably would have been a lot better spent if they had simply made an actual jet & entered the private aerospace sector in my opinion (derp).
This brings me back many years if any of you can remember "The Green Monster" on the Salt Flats here on the other side of the pond. It was the first car to go over 500MPH. Where the driver sat along side a Jet Engine. Technology today is going faster than the speed of light. This could be the next space shuttle program. My hats off to all whom vested their brains into this fab car.