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The Bloodhound LSR project, which plans in 2020 to break the world land speed record of 763.035 miles per hour, reported on Nov. 11 that in its series of high-speed testing in South Africa, it has taken the Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet-powered car up to 501 miles per hour.

The Bloodhound LSR tests are being conducted on a 10-mile-long dirt track at the Hakskeen Pan on the Northern Cape of South Africa and has involved a series of progressively faster runs beginning in October 2019. The test driver is Andy Green, the driver of Thrust SSC, which set the current land-speed record in 1997.

In a blog post that summarizes the testing, Green says the surface of Hakskeen Pan, although flat, is covered with stones and bisected by an old causeway road, which was removed and graded for the test runs. Green achieved 450 miles per hour on Nov. 1, and then a peak speed of 501 miles per hour on Nov. 6.

Green says the car is standing up well to the rigors of high-speed testing, with only the bottom edges of the rear suspension, known as the rear deltas, having suffered wear and tear. He also describes the challenges of steering a a long vehicle at high speeds and the effect of the brake chute on the car’s aerodynamics.

Bloodhound LSR will be tested for a couple more weeks and then return in 2020 for the attempt to break the land speed record, powered by the Rolls-Royce engine and a rocket. This Facebook video shows Bloodhound LSR during one of its runs.

Bloodhound LSR started life in 2007 as Bloodhound SSC, but could not maintain needed funding and entered administration in 2018. Ian Warhurst purchased the bloodhound and assets in December 2018 and thus restarted the effort to break the land speed record. Bloodhound LSR is now owned and managed by Grafton LSR Ltd. (Berkeley, U.K.). CompositesWorld wrote about Bloodhound in this 2015 story about the composite air brakes on the vehicle.

Source | Composites World