POSTPONED AGAIN: Bloodhound SSC aims to break the world land-speed record in 2018. Image: Twitter / Bloodhound SSC
Cape Town - Richard Noble, Bloodhound SSC project director, has announced that the planned world land-speed record run in South Africa has been postponed once again.
In an open-letter Noble said the following:
"Our goal this year is to test Bloodhound SSC on the runway at Newquay Aerohub. We will announce the target date in due course, but it will follow-on from static ‘tie-down’ tests of the EJ200 jet, installed in the car, which we hope to conduct this summer.
"There is also further development work to be done on our monopropellant rocket as we have increased the power output required from it. This to provide an additional performance margin should the weight of the complete, fully fueled car increase compared to earlier estimates."
From computers to the real world
Noble continues: "This can easily happen as a design that has evolved over many years makes its way from the virtual world of computer aided design (CAD) to the real world of the racetrack. The engineering team is choosing to be cautious now so we don’t lose time - or under perform - when we’re in the desert.
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"As you may have seen from our earlier updates, here and on social media, Hakskeen Pan flooded in January and then again this month. Allowing for similar events next year, and building in time to make final preparations to the track, we expect our advance party to deploy to the Kalahari in summer 2018.
"We will begin our first World Land Speed Record campaign in the second half of 2018."
On a personal note
Noble said: "It is frustrating to change our schedule again - we know everyone is excited about seeing the car run. We want that too but our pace of development has to be pegged to the flow of funding.
"We enjoy terrific support from the public (34 800 of whom have now paid to put their name on the tail fin, for example) and have a strong track record when it comes to fundraising with major sponsors. Interest from big brands is, if anything, increasing as we get closer to running: we have recently agreed new partnerships with a global IT company and a leading fashion brand, which we look forward to announcing soon.
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"A number of other substantial deals are also in negotiation. While this is undoubtedly good news there is inevitably a time delay between pledges of support, contracts being signed and cash arriving. Anyone who runs their own business will be familiar with this and the need to be pragmatic when planning.
"However, temporary delays do not change our direction of travel! 2017 will be a milestone year for The BLOODHOUND Project and we are determined to be out in South Africa, challenging records, next year."
Noble concluded: "We will keep you updated and continue to be grateful for the extraordinary enthusiasm and support shown by all our friends and followers around the world. We look forward to you being with us as we embark on the next and most exciting phase of this Engineering Adventure."