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Update: BLOODHOUND rocket engine successfully test fired

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October 3, 2012

Today's test firing of the hybrid rocket system

Today's test firing of the hybrid rocket system

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A 1,000 mph (Mach 1.4, 1,600 km/h) car came a step closer to reality today when the BLOODHOUND SSC team successfully test fired the vehicle’s rocket motor system. Conducted in a hardened aircraft shelter originally designed to house Tornado fighters at Newquay Cornwall Airport, the hybrid rocket motor burned for ten seconds, generating 14,000 lbs (60 kN, 40,000 bhp) of thrust and a roar of 180 decibels.

Designed to break the current land speed record of 763 mph (1,228 km/h), the four-meter (12-ft) long, 45.7-centimeter (18-in) diameter rocket motor weighs 450 kilograms (992 lb). It’s the largest hybrid rocket designed in Europe and the largest to be fired in Britain in 20 years. During the test, the Cosworth F1 engine – that feeds hydrogen peroxide into the motor to burn the solid rubber fuel at a temperature of 3,000ºC (5,400ºF) – provided 20 psi more pressure than expected.

The solid fuel burned very smoothly, which the team attributed to the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study that mathematically mapped the burning fuel grain within the rocket chamber. The team feels that these results give them greater confidence in the rocket system.

Cross section of BLOODHOUND's rocket motor
Cross section of BLOODHOUND's rocket motor

The next step for the BLOODHOUND team will be to carry out 14 more static firings in order to determine if the system is safe for a manned vehicle, followed by a series of low-speed runs of the assembled BLOODHOUND car in the UK before heading on to South Africa for the record runs.

Source: BLOODHOUND via BBC

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.   All articles by David Szondy
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2 Comments

Nicely done David, been following this on Top Gear UK you beat them

Bill Bennett
3rd October, 2012 @ 08:18 pm PDT

The F-104 StarFighter's engine, the J-79, AND ITS VARIOUS BRITISH COPIES, also used in original American design format in the F-4 Phantom, (times 4!)in the B-58 Hustler and a few others, is,by far, the most successful Jet engine design in

Land Speed History, holding more records and having made more runs than any other Jet engine LSR history.

It is currently the engine&airframe being used in The North American Eagle, which makes it the longest used Jet engine in Landspeed history, dating back to Art Arfons and his first Green Monster Landspeed car.

For the Record, the J-79's engine history started in 1955.

I am obviously partial to this simplicity, but not just because of my association with Waldo's effort. Ii is because I am no fan of waste, bureaucracy or over-engineered unnecessary complexity that I help him as I am able. What I am really saying here is that the mighty J-79 alone could still push the right design to over 1,000mph. Doing it and surviving is more a question of aerodynamics than any other single factor- next would be wheels & bearings and of course, stopping!

The F-104 StarFighter is STILL The World's Fastest Low Altitude Jet Aircraft and can STILL out climb any Jet aircraft ever built. Not bad for a design that started out, in 1949, as the beautiful, but originally under-powered pre-J79 X-3 Stiletto.

We have NOT come as far as we would like to think we have.

Man was doing more with less in the '50's&'60's than he is now.

Griffin
5th October, 2012 @ 03:17 pm PDT
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