The Probus Club Weston-Super-Mare

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Programme Reports

The Bloodhound Project - Martin Evans

Posted on March 8, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Our Members were delighted to be able to welcome Bloodhound SSC Ambassador – Martin Evans

Martin covered the whole range of topics that make up the exciting history of the World Land Speed Record. We learnt that the land speed record (LSR) is the speed over a course of a measured mile, averaged over two runs. Two runs are required in opposite directions within one hour, and a new record must exceed the previous one by at least one percent to be validated

Martin explained that the journey began December 18th 1898, when Frenchman Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat reached an astonishing 39.24 mph driving a Jeantaud Duc electric powered car.

Martin took us through many of the interesting record attempts, including the controversy that arose in 1963, when the ‘Spirit of America’ was not recognised due to it being a three-wheeler!

The main thrust of Martin’s presentation was of course the current attempt to reach 1000 mph in Bloodhound. We enjoyed learning about the engineering challenges that face the team, the interaction with Schools and Universities which clearly enthuses and encourages our next generation of Engineers.

Martin referred to the tremendous commitment and hard work of Richard Nobel OBE. Richard was himself the driver and holder of the land speed record (633 mph) between 1983 and 1997 in Thrust 2 (a rocket propelled car).

Richard Noble was also the Project Director for Thrust SSC the vehicle that holds the current record of 763mph. He is now the ‘driving’ force behind the Bloodhound SSC project.

We had a cockpit view of practice runs in Bloodhound’s predecessor – Thrust SSC, driven by Wing Commander Andy Green in 1997 at Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Andy Green will also be the driver for the attempt on the record in the Bloodhound SSC at 1000 mph

However, Bloodhound Project Ltd went into administration in October 2018 due to lack of funds to maintain the project's monthly overheads. By early December, it was announced that the project was facing immediate closure and plans were put in place by the Administrators to sell off the remaining assets including the car for scrap value.

Following this announcement, a series of very fortunate circumstances led to the purchase of the assets and intellectual property by an Engineering enthusiast. A new company was formed called Grafton LSR Ltd which is the new legal owner of Bloodhound.

Since this date, the new owner has been busy working behind the scenes with a core team to work out if its possible to save the land speed record project with new sponsors and partners.

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