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Documentary: Building the world’s fastest car

11 November 2020

The prime-time documentary detailing the Bloodhound team’s successful 628mph High Speed Testing campaign is scheduled to air on Channel 4 at 18:00 on Saturday, 14 November.

Building The World’s Fastest Car, the hour-long programme, follows the team’s fortunes as they deployed to the Kalahari Desert in South Africa for six weeks in autumn 2019.

Filmed on the Hakskeenpan desert by Workerbee (part of EndemolShine UK) and supported by local drone operators, the programme charts the highs and lows as the team attempts to run the car on the desert racetrack, building speeds, and learning about the destructive impact of supersonic airflow, ahead of a concerted attempt to break the World Land Speed Record.

A global audience

EndemolShine UK has also sold the documentary to key channels in other countries including; Australia, Finland, France, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco, New Zealand, Poland and Taiwan. Bloodhound LSR will not only be the best-documented land speed record attempt in history, but also a showcase for the best of British engineering and innovation.

Bloodhound is back

Following a seven-month period of hibernation while the pandemic caused global uncertainty, the Bloodhound Land Speed Record project is back in business. The team has resumed the hunt for the final financial package needed to compete the development of the car, including the rocket system, and reasserted its intention to return to the Hakskeenpan desert racetrack, and set a new World Land Speed Record in excess of 800mph.

Ian Warhurst, Bloodhound LSR CEO, enthused: “Now a global audience can see just what the car and this unique team is capable of. We’re seeking sponsors and high-net-worth individuals to help us move to the next phase and break some records!” He continued, “The project is at a stage where it either raises enough funds to carry out the record attempts, or it doesn’t, and will need to close down. There is no middle ground left. There is also a crucial timeline – the project needs to be in a position to continue by having funds in place by early 2021. This will allow the car to be developed further and completed in time for the weather window in July – September 2022. However, starting the project’s next phase will only be done once sufficient funds are held in an escrow account, and we have 100% confidence we are ready to move into the final record-breaking phase.”

Next steps

Even though the 2019 high-speed testing was a resounding success, now the real work begins.

The team is turning its attention to raising the vital budget necessary to move into the ultimate phase of the programme: attempting a new World Land Speed Record in 18 months’ time, back in South Africa.

The Bloodhound LSR car is currently stripped down and ready to be worked on in the workshop in the heart of SGS Berkeley Green University Technical College, Gloucestershire, where it’ll be reassembled into desert spec configuration.

In order to set a new World Land Speed Record, the Bloodhound LSR team needs to fit a rocket on the car. Norwegian aerospace expert Nammo is developing a monopropellant rocket as part of the European Space Agency R&D programme, which will be the perfect fit for the Bloodhound LSR car, slotting easily into the vacant tunnel designed to house it beneath the EJ200 jet engine.

The new rocket will use concentrated hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) which, when passed through a catalyst, decomposes into H2O and oxygen, whilst generating the several tonnes of thrust needed to blast Bloodhound LSR into the record books.

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