461 mph and minor body damage for the Bloodhound LSR
Following his 334-mph run in the afterburner-engaged mode the Bloodhound team calls “run profile three,” Andy Green has progressed to the fifth run profile, in which configuration on the jet-powered Bloodhood LSR reached 461 mph. After surpassing the team’s initial target of 450 mph, however, Green’s second attempt at “run profile six” had to be cancelled that day due to some underbody damage sustained during the first run, after which the Hakskeenpan of the Kalahari desert also got hit by a major sandstorm.
However, the blast to 461 mph produced plenty of valuable data. Andy Green rolled off the line without engaging the Eurofighter Typhoon jet engine’s afterburner. He then switched on the flames above 50 mph, and all of the Bloodhound’s 90 kN of thrust (the rough equivalent of 54,000 horsepower) blasted the car to 461 mph. Green lifted off the throttle at 440 mph to stabilize the car before pulling the left parachute, which, as expected, took a moment to deploy behind the car. (The LSR has two cable-operated parachutes in case, heaven forbid, either malfunction. The right parachute had already been tested; this run, it was the left parachute’s turn.)
The drag created by the parachute destabilized the rear of the car once again, so the engineers are now investigating whether removing cables two and four, which attach the chute to the car, will help the chute fly more steadily.
The Bloodhound LSR only uses its front brakes below 150 mph, which, after the chute did its duty, brought the car to a halt at the 5.6-mile mark. On a previous run, Andy even managed to taxi his ride all the way to the 10-mile mark at the south end of the track. In case you’re curious of the U-turn radius of such a machine, it’s 787 feet.
Next up for the Bloodhound is “run profile six.” We’re just waiting to see what run profile eleven is.