At Last, Construction Begins This Week On the 1,000 MPH Bloodhound Rocket-Car

Bloodhound Inside

The guts of the Bloodhound, including its dual rocket/jet engines and fuel pump.Nick Kaloterakis

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.