Rolls backs SA Bloodhound project

2013-05-13 19:40

Rolls-Royce has announced its support for The Bloodhound Project, an international education initiative focused on a 1609km/h land speed record attempt in South Africa.

A Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine will be used in the custom hybrid rocket to propel the car to more than 1600km/h (the official target is 1000mph) or 1.4 times the speed of sound. The automaker will also provide financial and technical support for the bid to make a car faster than a cruising jumbo jet.

Rolls-Royce director of engineering and technology, Colin Smith, called for the UK to do more to inspire young people about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.


Smith said: “Cutting edge engineering keeps Rolls-Royce, and the UK, at the forefront of global business. We understand the fundamental importance of inspiring young people about STEM and know that more needs to be done. Sponsoring Bloodhound gives us an opportunity to showcase world-class British engineering and invest in our future.”

Richard Noble, Bloodhound project director ,,said: “Rolls-Royce’s support is invaluable. It's highly motivated ambassadors will help us reach many more schools and youth groups across the country. Their experience of working within a first-class aerospace company makes them perfect role models for aspiring engineers”.

In its normal role, the EJ200 jet engine generates 9071kg/90kN of thrust to power the twin-engined Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft.

In 1983 Noble used a Rolls-Royce Avon 302 1983 in Thrust 2 to set a record of 1019.47km/h while two Spey 202 turbofan engines, as used in a McDonald Douglas F4 Phantom, enabled Wing Commander Andy Green to become the first, and so far only, person to break the sound barrier on land in Thrust SSC at 1227.986km/h in 1997. 

The company did not officially sanction or endorse any of these activities, however.

In 2008 Rolls-Royce became an early adopter of the project, formally deciding to provide the programme with essential engine support which in turn enabled the Ministry of Defence to loan three redundant early development EJ200 jet engines once the Eurofighter Typhoon flight development programme had been completed.


Noble said: "Building the car is a mammoth task with more than 3000 specially designed and about-to-be-made components. There is a huge volume of activity and the  Bloodhound engineering team is absolutely determined to have the car on its wheels with the EJ200 engine running by October 2013 and we all came to the conclusion that this is achievable.

"By the end of 2013 crucial components such as  the tailfin will still be in manufacture and it's quite clear that we won’t be in South Africa for December, as hoped."

So when will the project be completed?

Noble said: "We felt strongly that we should avoid deadline creep; we should  set an achievable date and deliver. So it's second quarter (April/May/June) 2014 but there’s one more important point -  this is turning into a truly tremendous team and we are going to try to beat that..

"See you on Haksteen Pan in 2014 - if not before."

To find out more visit the project's website!