Special Motorsports Event - Bloodhound SSC To Test Rocket Package


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

London, Sep. 26, 2012: The BLOODHOUND Project today outlined the upcoming test of its unique hybrid rocket, which will take place at The Aerohub, Newquay Cornwall Airport, on 3rd October 2012.

At 4 meters (12 feet) long, 45.7 cm (18 inches) in diameter and 450kg in weight, BLOODHOUND’s rocket is the largest of its kind ever designed in Europe and the biggest to be fired in the UK for 20 years. In its ultimate form it will generate c. 27,500lbs of thrust, equivalent to c. 80,000 horsepower (hp), the combined output of 95 Formula 1 cars.

October’s test represents the most significant milestone yet for the global education programme as it develops the world’s first 1,000mph / Mach 1.4 racing car.

BLOODHOUND’s engineers will be evaluating the performance of the complete rocket system for the first time, comprising of the Cosworth CA2010 F1 engine, High Test Peroxide oxidiser tank, custom designed gearbox and software and Falcon Hybrid Rocket, designed by 28 year-old self- trained rocketeer Daniel Jubb.

The experiment will be conducted inside a Hardened Air Shelter (HAS) with data and video streamed live to an adjacent building where the engineers, guests and media will be stationed. As BLOODHOUND is being followed in 217 countries, the test will be shown live on the internet and data shared on www.bloodhoundssc.com/rocket.

The term ‘hybrid’ stems from the fact that BLOODHOUND’s rocket combines solid fuel (a synthetic rubber) with a liquid oxidiser (High Test Peroxide, or HTP) reacting with a catalyst (a fine mesh of silver) to produce its power. Although technically demanding, this approach is, we believe, the safest and most controllable option, allowing driver Andy Green to shut off the flow of oxidiser and extinguish the rocket, if required.

During the test, the Cosworth F1 engine will rev to 17,500rpm in order to fire HTP into the rocket at a pressure of 600lbs per square inch, equivalent to holding a large family car on the palm of your hand, and with enough flow to fill a bath in 5 seconds. The rocket will burn for c.10 seconds during the test; half the duration of a record run but sufficient to generate c. 30,000 equivalent hp. Predicted sound levels at the rocket nozzle will approach 185dB, many times that of a Boeing 747 at take off.

The rocket system is still at a very early stage in its development and the test is not without risk. Questions the engineers will be looking to answer include: will the system perform as expected? Will the silver catalyst break up under the force of HTP? Will the full size rocket produce the expected amount of power? The last time a rocket was demonstrated at this early level of maturity was during the Apollo programme.

The Team will also be using the event to practise the safety protocols and rocket handling procedures they use in 12 month’s time, when BLOODHOUND begins its supersonic campaign at Hakskeen Pan, South Africa.

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