1,000-mph car project on track after rocket passes first test image

The rocket that will power the 1,000-mph Bloodhound SSC car has passed its first test on Wednesday, British engineers announced.

The team wants to run the car in the South African desert next year and break the world land speed record of 763 mph (1228 km/h), which is the speed of sound or Mach 1. “The initial indications are that it went very well indeed,” the rocket’s designer, engineer Daniel Jubb, was quoted as saying by the Western Morning News in Cornwall, UK, where the rocket was tested inside a hangar at a Royal Air Force base.

The Bloodhound SSC has a hybrid power plant, in the sense that the rocket uses a solid fuel, which is a synthetic rubber, and turns it into an aerosol with a high-test peroxide and catalyst of fine silver mesh. The fuel is actually fired into the rocket by a Cosworth engine of the type found in Formula One race cars. Then all that power is combined with the thrust from a jet engine like the ones on Typhoon fighter planes.

On Wednesday, the rocket hybrid produced 14,000 pounds of thrust, the equivalent of about 40,000 horsepower. The additional thrust from the fighter jet engine brings the car’s total to 135,000 horsepower, more than one thousand times the power of another hybrid, the more conventional Prius.

The Bloodhound will be driven by Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green, who holds the current land speed record with the ThrustSSC. Check out the rocket test below to get a glimpse of how the Bloodhound SSC will sound when it will try to break the land speed record next year.