The Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) is on display in Canary Wharf ahead of its attempt to break the land speed record in 2016 in South Africa.
The 135,000 thrust horsepower machine will be at the East Wintergarden on Friday, September 25 and Saturday, September 26 showing off what it’s made of (literally).
Visitors can see inside the supersonic car as it will be presented without its carbon fibre bodywork on one side, showing the Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine in place as it will be when the Bloodhound SSC attempts to go faster than 800mph in 2016 (current record is 763mph).
So we popped down ahead of the public launch and learnt a few facts about this rather amazing vehicle.
1. The wheels are only able to turn five degrees – which is pretty important considering the Bloodhound SSC can travel up to 1,000mph.
2. The car is fitted with runway tyres, which will be tested out at Newquay Airport ahead of the record-breaking attempt, and solid aluminium wheels for driving in the desert.
3. Rolls Royce is not just onboard with the project because its engine is being used but also to promote engineering to children as they are finding many of their staff are close to retirement age with few people to replace them.
4. In the South African desert, where the record breaking attempt will be, local people were tasked to collect all the stones (may not sound like a fun job, but it does provide them with employment) from the basin Bloodhound will drive on.
5. The engine, which is the same one used in a Typhoon fighter jet, is hot enough to melt the metal it’s made of – coolants and the ventilation system stop this happening though.
6. The car burns 800 litres of rocket oxidizer and 600 litres of jet fuel going from 0mph to 100mph – which it can do in around 45 seconds. It has a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine from a Eurofighter Typhoon, a cluster of Nammo hybrid rockets and a Jaguar V8 engine.
7. Once it is all kitted out and ready to go the Bloodhound SSC weighs a whopping 7.5 tonnes (your average car weighs about a tonne).
8. There have been 13 versions of the Bloodhound SSC, but this is the first one built.
9. Driver Andy Green – who holds the current land speed record with the Thrust SSC – has had the steering wheel and seat specially moulded to his body. Any slight error or slip could cause a fatal mistake. He’s pretty chilled about his role though, calling it his “holiday job” (his day job is as a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force though).
10. You cannot put the brakes on in the car until its speed is down to 200mph otherwise the disc brakes would explode.
Seat moulded to his body - two part foam mound
27.000 feet - if it were to go two tonnes of thrust that would make it go up
Skins of the upper body are titanium and then carbon fibre the monocock