When RAF fighter pilot Andy Green hits the “start” button on the new Bloodhound SSC, he’ll fire up a 550-horsepower V-8 borrowed from the Jaguar F-Type sports car. But it will take a lot more than that to get the Bloodhound moving.
The big V-8 is simply there to pump fuel into the 42-foot-long, pencil-shaped Bloodhound’s EJ200 jet engine. When Green opens the throttle up, he will quickly be thrust deep into his cushioned seat as the jet, developed for the Eurofighter, quickly hits about 300 mph. But at that point, it’s only warming up.
At that point, a cluster of hybrid solid/liquid rockets will ignite, and if all goes according to plan, Andy Green will soon be moving at 1,000 miles per hour, or nearly a third faster than the land speed record he set in 1997, when he piloted the Thrust SSC to 763 mph, becoming the first man to ever drive through the sound barrier.