Cooling a 135,000bhp, 1000mph car poses critical challenges for safety and performance that now, just six months ahead of the first run, the Bloodhound team is looking to solve
As the build of Bloodhound SSC gains momentum and a planned UK test in Newquay is just months away, engineers are increasingly looking at the detail design challenges to help them push the car to 1000mph and above.
These include the issues of cooling the tightly-packaged Rocket engine together with ensuring the volatile HTP (High Test Peroxide) doesn't decompose before it reaches the rocket chamber and in effect, become a bomb.
"We've got approximately 1000 litres of HTP that has the equivalent explosive force of 1 stick of dynamite per litre if it reaches 40°C, and starts to decompose" says Tony Parraman, of the sponsorship liaison team. "Packaging dictates that our supercharged Jaguar engine, that we use to pump 900 litres in just 20 seconds, is sat next to the tank so preventing heat transfer is on our essential list."
Unlike previous record challenging cars, a large proportion of the Bloodhound front structure is composite.
Chosen for its excellent strength/weight ratio, the drawback of composites is its poor resistance to temperature compared to metallic options.
The team will trial the car at Hakseen Panin South Africa, providing a real test of the thermal protection.