London - Just months after its relaunch, following a period of bankruptcy, the Bloodhound LSR supersonic car project is set to perform its first test run at Hakskeen Salt Pan in the Northern Cape.
Although the vehicle was originally designed to break the 1600km/h barrier, the team will only be targeting 800km/h in the October test run, which is says is a “key milestone” on its journey to setting a new world speed record, which it hopes to attempt at Haksteen in late 2020.
The current world land speed record stands at 1228km/h, set by the Thrust SSC back in 1997.
This year’s run will focus on testing the aerodynamics, handling, desert wheels and parachutes.
The land speed record will be the first such attempt in the digital era, and fittingly, data from hundreds of sensors on the car will be shared with engineers in real time, allowing them to see exactly how the car is behaving as it challenges the laws of physics.
The test run will be a “dress rehearsal” for these systems, as well as the team’s operational procedures.
“I’m thrilled that we can announce Bloodhound’s first trip to South Africa for these high speed testing runs,” said Bloodhound LSR CEO Ian Warhurst.
“This world land speed record campaign is unlike any other, with the opportunities opened up by digital technology that enabled the team to test the car’s design using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and that will allow us to gather and share data about the car’s performance in real time.
“In addition, we’re running the car on a brand new surface. The wheels have been designed specifically for this desert lake bed, but it will still be vital to test them at high speeds before making record speed runs.”
Warhurst bought the Bloodhound LSC business and assets for an undisclosed sum in December last year, as the project was on the verge of being scrapped after going into administration in October.
The Haksteen track is 18km long and 1.5km wide, and is located close to the Namibian border, about 250km north of Upington.