Bloodhound land-speed record project up for sale, again

The Bloodhound Land Speed Record (LSR) project is once again up for sale. A team blog post said Bloodhound is still looking to make a World Land Speed Record attempt in 2022, providing a new owner (and additional funding) can be found.

The coronavirus pandemic hindered fundraising efforts and delayed the project by a full year, current owner Ian Warhurst said in the post. Warhurst rescued Bloodhound from oblivion in 2018 after another funding shortfall, but he has reached his limit.

“At this stage, in absence of further, immediate, funding, the only options remaining are to close down the program or put the project up for sale to allow me to pass on the baton and allow the team to continue the project,” Warhurst said. “I will, of course, be cheering from the sidelines when Bloodhound smashes through 800 mph.”

Bloodhound LSR

Bloodhound LSR

Bloodhound last ran in November 2019, reaching 628 mph on the Hakskeenpan in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert. The goal of the project is to become the first wheeled vehicle to reach 1,000 mph, and beat the current record for a steerable car of 763 mph, set in 1997. Bloodhound’s driver is the man who set that record, former Royal Air Force fighter pilot Andy Green.

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For the 2019 test, Bloodhound relied solely on a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine from a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter plane. For the record attempt, the team will add a cluster of hybrid rockets from Norwegian defense firm Nammo. Combined output from the jet engine and rockets is estimated at 135,000 horsepower.

Installing the rockets and transporting the car to South Africa for the record attempt will cost about $10 million at current exchange rates, according to the team. Work needs to restart within the next few months in so the car can be ready for a 2022 record attempt, the team said, adding that the alternative would be to put the car into long-term storage “with no certainty of being able to restart the project.”

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