How to steer a car at 628 mph

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bloodhound lsr rocket car rear three-quarter action over desert Bloodhound LSR / Charlie Sperring

The Bloodhound SSC is not really a car. It’s a jet, and soon-to-be-rocket-powered land speed record contender, running on solid aluminum wheels forged from a special alloy and designed to provide very minimal lateral grip on the dry desert surface. And then, there’s its steering system.

Granting Andy Green just five degrees of movement in each direction for a total of ten degrees lock-to-lock, the Bloodhound SSC’s wheels still turn twice as far out as a normal car’s, in true drifting fashion. However, don’t expect a quick turnaround from this one. While an electric Honda e’s turning radius stands at 14.1 feet, the prototype Eurofighter jet-powered Bloodhound’s is at 787.4 feet. You do need a desert for such a loop.

bloodhound lsr rocket car on track side linear perspective
Bloodhound LSR / Charlie Sperring

Closing in on a top speed of 628 mph, Mr. Green needed plenty of steering input to stay close to the white guideline across the flatlands. Partly because the Bloodhound’s tailfin is designed for the weight of the rocket onboard, which means that for all those jet-only runs in 2019, it’s been oversized, grabbing too much of those dangerous crosswinds.

Then again, Andy Green is not new to taming provoked beasts.

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