As we reported earlier this month, members of the team were in dire straits as they thought they had exhausted every avenue to secure the financial backing required to make the 10-year dream a reality and get to South Africa’s Hakskeenpan salt flat in the Kalahari Desert.
Thanks to the last-minute save by Warhurst, the Bloodhound is bound for South Africa next year, where an 11-mile course has been prepped for its attempt at 1000 mph. The 45-foot-long manned missile has both rocket and jet propulsion. The EJ200 turbofan normally powers a Eurofighter Typhoon and produces 20,000 pounds of thrust when using its afterburner.
The Thrust SSC, built by a British team that shares some members with Bloodhound, holds the current outright land speed record at 763.035 mph, set in 1997 in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. The Fédération Internationale de L’Automobile, better known as the FIA, is the sanctioning body that monitors the records. If you’re a fan of American land speed racing like the kind that goes on at the Bonneville Salt Flats, the FIA holds events there as well, as does the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), which has been holding its Speed Week races since 1949. Unlike the SCTA, FIA has classes for thrust-powered vehicles and requires vehicles to make their return runs within an hour and running in the opposite direction.
We’re excited to hear that the hard work put in by the Bloodhound team will pay off, and we wish the Brits best of luck as they attempt to raise the bar higher than the world record set by Thrust SSC.
Think America is resting on its laurels? Hagerty got wind of rumors a U.S. team is building a thrust-powered vehicle to go after the same record. Godspeed.