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1000mph car to be powered by rubber and hair-dye. Answered

The largest rocket fired in the UK for two decades will be lit soon, in the race to produce a land-vehicle capable of 1000mph.

It will burn a mixture of solid propellant (HTPB, or hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene, a kind of rubber) and liquid oxidiser (high-test peroxide, HTP, a highly concentrated form of hair-bleach) for 20 seconds.

The Bloodhound SSC will also be powered by a jet engine from a Typhoon fighter.

In the 20 second burn, the rocket will need fed with a tonne of HTP, so the pump is being powered by a Cosworth Formula 1 engine, which will become the only piston-engine running in a car at supersonic speed.  The team are planning to give the engine a major power-boost by feeding the supersonic airstream into the engine without slowing it to the usual operating speeds.

The huge engineering challenges are being used to inspire students through the UK's STEM programme.



7 years ago

Personally I find this kind of "car" all well and good but somehow... uninspiring. It's basically a rocket that coincidentally goes sideways- my idea of a "car" is something powered by its wheels.

The wheel-driven land speed record is a fun read, partly because of the names of the cars.  Forget those lame three letter acronym, I'd rather my land speed records were held by things called the Turbinator :)

I do agree, an IC engine and transmission driving the wheels is loads more inspiring and interesting what ever walk of life you come from because it's something we can all relate to. However, the challenge of getting something with wheels regardless of what it's powered by to reach that speed and actually stay on it's wheels is pretty damn impressive.

i dunno, even if it was a jet engine, just turning the wheels. i don't think it has to be an IC

Agreed entirely, we need epic names for record holding machines or at the very amusing acronyms...

They could have a wheel driven reboot called the turbinatrix... Or hypercat, mach-hawk, the hemitron or Jim...

Let's throw some stats out there to try to put it into perspective. Looking JUST at the Oxidizer pump device...

1tonne = 1"metric tonne" = 1000 Litres of Water

HTP is only a little more dense than water 1.110 g/cm3 (20 °C, 30-percent)
1.450 g/cm3 (20 °C, pure) (High Test = 85 - 98%)

So it's not unreasonable to compare it to similar flow rates of water.

1000liters in 20 seconds = 50 litres per second (That's a 2litre bottle of cola in about 4/10 of a second, even my mate Alan can't drink THAT fast.)

Average garden hose delivers 0.15 litres per second (you'd need more than 300 garden hoses to do 1000 litres in 20 seconds) http://www.kgbanswers.co.uk/how-many-litres-per-second-come-out-of-the-average-garden-hose/1995371

Fire hose? Well there's different standards.
This type is required to deliver at least 1/3 of a litre per second, still not enough.

A master stream is a fire service term for a water stream of 350 gallons per minute (1,320 lpm) or greater.

50 Litres per SECOND = 3000 Litres per MINUTE

So even a "Master Stream" fire fighting device isn't going to be enough, or if this device was used to pump WATER it would EXCEED the Qualification as a "Master Stream" device.

An Olympic Swimming pool contans 2.5MILLION litres (2,500,000Litres)

It would take a little less than 15 minutes to empty (or fill) an Olympic sized swimming pool, but you'd need a 250 Mile long hose.



I can tell that this will end well....

Yes. The car's overthrust oscillator will allow it to travel right through the mountain at the end of the test course.

Extra points if KK9 knows what I'm talking about

Okay, KK9 failed the test. Anyone else want to help him out?

Zero points. Not only did you not know what I was talking about, you didn't even try typing "overthrust oscillator" into Google, which would have given you the answer as the very first hit.

Genuine Trivia: I was on the committee of the first cinema group in the UK to show Buckaroo Banzai without burning down...

Yes I know, It go fast! (no I do not know what an oscillator is, but I know that that this is gonna go BOOM!) (for some odd reason when I get my licenens In a few years, I want a Delorean!)