Feeds

Whopping supersonic-car rocket rattles idyllic Cornwall

Boffin Jubb fires up Bloodhound's hybrid thruster

The essential guide to IT transformation

The Bloodhound SuperSonic Car team yesterday pushed the big red button on the "biggest rocket fired in the UK for over 20 years"*.

The Falcon Hybrid Rocket - a 45cm (18in) diameter by 3.6m (12ft) long unit burning hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene solid fuel and high-test peroxide (HTP) oxidiser - roared to life for 10 seconds, producing 60kN (14,000lbf) of thrust.

Goodness gracious, great balls to admire

The Bloodhound SSC rocket test

The test took place inside a hardened air shelter at the Aerohub, Newquay Cornwall Airport, which rattled as sound levels at the rocket nozzle peaked at 185dB, or "many times that of a Boeing 747 at take off", as the Bloodhound SSC announcement describes it.

The HTP oxidiser was pumped into the motor by a Cosworth CA2010 F1 engine at 600lbs per square inch, "equivalent to holding a large family car on the palm of your hand, and with enough flow to fill a bath in 5 seconds"**.

Motor designer Daniel Jubb - he of the magnificent handlebar 'tach - seemed satisfied with the smooth running of his baby. He told the BBC: "From what I could see, it looked very smooth indeed; and from the sound, there was not a lot of fluctuation - very steady."

Analysis of data from the test will determine if the hybrid's "unique star-shaped rubber fuel grain" did indeed burn evenly, although there's still a long way to go before the Falcon Hybrid Rocket can be bolted into the Bloodhound for an assault on the land speed record.

The ultimate planned power output of the motor is 111kN (25,000lbf) during a 20-second burn, peaking at 122kN (27,500lbf). This output, when combined with the thrust from the Bloodhound's Rolls Royce EJ200 jet engine, should ultimately propel the car to 1,000mph (1,600kph).

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's a rocket strapped to wheels

Artist's impression of the Bloodhound SSC thundering along

The team's first aim, though, is to hit 850mph (1,400kph), when pilot Andy Green takes the controls at the Hakskeen Pan dry lake bed in South Africa next year. ®

Bootnotes

* In the 1980s, the Stonechat powerplants for the Falstaff research rocket produced 270kN (60,700lbf) during static tests.

** Readers are invited to calculate that flow in elephants per second.

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN Kickstarter push breaks TWELVE THOUSAND POUNDS
That's right, folks, you've stumped up OVER 9000 beer tokens - and counting
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?