An attempt to smash the world land speed record by traveling over 1,000 miles per hour (1,600 km/h) has been delayed by a year, with a lack of sponsorship cited as the reason.
The British-led team behind the Bloodhound SSC project had planned to take their supersonic vehicle to the flats of Hakskeen Pan in South Africa this year, in an attempt to break the existing land speed record of 763 mph (1,228 km/h), achieving initial speeds of around 800 mph (1,300km/h). The jump to 1,000 mph was expected next year.
Now, only runway tests in the U.K. will take place this year. The first full test run is expected next year in South Africa, before the final run in 2018 at maximum speed.
“What we need now are the funds to run the car and money is just a function of perseverance and timing,” said project director Richard Noble in a statement. “Doing something truly unique, on a global scale, with such high technology, is never easy – ask Richard Branson or Elon Musk, but that makes the story we’re sharing with millions of supporters all the more interesting.”
Aside from sponsorship, the car is essentially complete, and it was unveiled to the public for the first time in September 2015. Measuring 13.5 meters (44.3 feet) long and 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) wide, the vehicle looks more like a jet than a car. It uses a combination of jet and rocket motors to produce 135,000 thrust horsepower, equivalent to 180 modern Formula 1 cars combined. At top speed, the wheels will spin at 10,200 rpm – 170 times per second – while the car will go from 0 to 1,000 mph in 55 seconds and back to zero in another 65 seconds.
The attempt at 1,000 mph will now be made in 2018. Flock London
According to the BBC, the only issue at the moment is that the rocket motor and its pump mechanism have not yet gone through full testing, which is the last major hurdle before Bloodhound can attempt its land speed record.
Bloodhound will be driven by Andy Green, who also set the existing land speed record in the ThrustSSC vehicle on the Black Rock Desert in Nevada back in 1997.
The project began in 2007, with initial hopes that it could break the land speed record by 2011. Delays hampered those efforts, but the project has already benefited hugely the U.K.’s STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology, and Maths) activities. Now it’s just down to the team for the final push, as they aim for speeds never achieved before.