The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) team today demonstrated the huge power their rocket car will generate, firing their engines in the largest rocket blast seen in the UK for the past 20 years – successfully showing off the explosive power that will hopefully propel the team's car to speeds in excess of 1,000 mph.
Onlookers gathered at a small airfield in Newquay to witness the first time the complete rocket system – comprising a Cosworth F1 engine, high test peroxide tank, gearbox, software and its Falcon Hybrid Rocket.
If flames and noise are anything to go by, the Falcon rocket passed with flying colours – although, in doing so, it managed to disrupt the camera feeds and many of the instruments strapped on.
“That's the best results we could have had today,” said Andy Green, the RAF wing commander that will drive the car across the South African desert, as he talked onlookers through the captured video footage.
While the team will pour over the data to examine the thrust achieved from the 800 psi system, today's test was as much about educating others as it was testing the rocket.
“Going fast is a by-product,” said Richard Noble, Bloodhound SSC project director and former land speed record holder.
The desire the fire up young people's imaginations and get them interested in science, technology, engineering and maths is core to the whole project.
Typically, these types of projects evolve under a veil of secrecy. But the Bloodhound gang wanted schools to get involved, providing a live stream of the test for those that couldn't attend.
The Bloodhound team will move over to the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa in the 2013, to begin final preparations for the record attempt.
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