Bloodhound cracks 500mph in practice

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Words: Nile Bijoux
8 Nov 2019

The Bloodhound Land Speed Record machine has broken 500mph (804km/h) in the Kalahari desert and it’s not done yet.

Andy Green was piloting the machine on the 19.95km track near the Namibian border. It was preceded by a 491mph run, which destroyed a small area of the bodywork. Sand and grit was kicked up by the disturbed air and ripped through the titanium skin. The repairs survived the quicker run though.

But there was some drama after that, with a fire warning alert activated in the cockpit. Green duly notified the team and exited the machine but it all turned out to be a false alarm. A fire wire designed to burn and break at 160 degrees C did just that, triggered by afternoon temperatures of 36C and the massive heat from the Eurofighter Typhoon jet engine.

The team viewed it as a positive, saying it “validated that both the fire detection system and fire response processes the team has set up work successfully”.

Having cemented itself in the top ten fastest 'cars' ever built, the Bloodhound LSR has its sights set on the 550mph mark. Eventually, the team wants to topple the ultimate record of 763.065mph (1228.034km/h).

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