Watch the Bloodhound LSR blast to 501 mph

Yesterday, Andy Green pushed the Bloodhound LSR to 501 mph, after which the twin parachutes’ release at the 6.2-mile mark told the team a lot about the car’s deceleration limits. Yet unexpected excitement came after breaking the 500 barrier, as narrated in a statement from the Bloodhound team:

“During the engine shutdown procedure, a fire warning alert went off in the cockpit. Pilot Andy Green called ‘Fire, fire, fire’ over the radio and quickly evacuated the cockpit through the hatch. Rescue Trucks One and Two were on the scene in seconds. The firefighters inspected the rear engine bay and discovered there was no fire. The alert was triggered by a fire wire which is designed to burn and break at 160 degrees Celsius. The afternoon sun was 97 degrees Fahrenheit, which, combined with the heat soak from the Eurofighter Typhoon, triggered the alert. This exercise validated that both the fire detection system and fire response processes the team has set up work successfully.”

Cool. Following previous runs at around 450 mph, the Bloodhound LSR also received minor bodywork damage to the rear deltas. The aerodynamic panels covering the rear suspension were pummeled by the sand and grit kicked up by the airflow, “crumpling the titanium skin like tissue paper.” Bloodhound says the team’s first repair failed to survive yesterday’s 491-mph run, yet a subsequent round of patches went unscathed at 501 mph.

Next on the schedule is a 550-mph run, which will be nothing new to Andy Green, the man holding the land speed record since 1997 (763.035 mph). The Eurofighter Typhoon-powered Bloodhound LSR runs on wheels weighing 198 pounds each and made of the highest grade aero aluminum alloy called 7037. They are designed to spin at up to 10,200 rpm, getting less and less loaded as the car lifts up above 500 mph. Like here:

The Bloodhound Project is aiming for 1000 mph in two phases. The target of the first phase is to break the current record of 763.035 mph. Upon the successful completion of the first phase at supersonic speed levels, the team will review the data before embarking on the second phase: the challenge of safely reaching 1000 mph.

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