Bloodhound SSC 1000mph Project Forced to Close

The spine tingling project to break the 1000mph land speed record has come to an end, with the Bloodhound SSC finally admitting defeat amidst financial troubles.


Aiming to bring the very first supersonic vehicle across the finish line at over 1000 mph, some 237 mph over the current land speed record, the Bristol based Bloodhound SSC team of thrill seekers have finally had to close the doors on a project that has been in the works for a number of years - even getting as far as having an almost fully completed car ready to roll before eventually falling short of the required funds to complete the ambitious project.

Having an almost fully completed "car", and having run already in 2017 during shakedown trials where speeds in excess of 200mph were easily reached, the team has now been broken up and the car is for sale - for less than £250,000!

"We have worked tirelessly with the directors to identify a suitable individual or organisation who could take the project forward," joint administrator Andrew Sheridan said.​

"Despite overwhelming public support, and engagement with a wide range of potential and credible investors, it has not been possible to secure a purchaser for the business and assets."

Mr Sheridan added: "We will now work with key stakeholders to return the third-party equipment and then sell the remaining assets of the company to maximise the return for creditors."
It is thought that the team would still require in excess of £25m to complete the project and go for the land speed record, initially expected to take place at the South African Hakskeen Pan venue in the Northern Cape, but without the required additional investment, dreams of a new and previously unattainable record will have to be shelved... for a little while at least.

"You're going to need to find a few million to get it running to full speed," said driver Andy Green, a man who has been pivotal in the development of the Bloodhound SSC up to this point.​

"We have basically completed the main structure, the desert is ready, we just need the funding."
The current holder of the Outright World Land Speed Record is ThrustSSC, a twin turbofan jet-powered car which achieved 763.035 mph - 1227.985 km/h - over one mile in October 1997.

Anyone got a spare £250k and fancies going quickly in a straight line?

Bloodhound SSC.jpg


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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.
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SS454

75RPM
Sep 2, 2016
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im failing to see where it would cost an extra $31.5m USD just to get it to where it could make a complete run.
 

KittX

500RPM
Dec 12, 2011
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Sell it to Roadkill guys. They'll break 2000 mph with it, and do a wheelie. Using tape and zipties.
 

Turk

1000RPM
Jul 29, 2011
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im failing to see where it would cost an extra $31.5m USD just to get it to where it could make a complete run.
Chris Harris did a great behind the scenes video on the building of this "car". Everything has to be extremely precise due to the speeds and forces involved. Nothing is cheap at these kind of extremes. The pump for the fuel was a V8 Jag engine. Just one of the wheels cost thousands.

Then there's all the health and safety costs of doing a run with this thing. Paying emergency services to be track side and so on.
 

Alex Townsend

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I guess all those sponsor stickers are slapped all over it just to make it look good... they didn't remember to ask those companies for the required funds to complete the mission...?
Dunno, guess the viewing figures wouldn't be there to warrant financially backing the project to completion perhaps. :O_o:
 

Turk

1000RPM
Jul 29, 2011
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I guess all those sponsor stickers are slapped all over it just to make it look good... they didn't remember to ask those companies for the required funds to complete the mission...?
Dunno, guess the viewing figures wouldn't be there to warrant financially backing the project to completion perhaps. :O_o:
I don't know that companies were just handing over money to get their sticker on the car. This kind of engineering project just wouldn't come around that often, these are the kind of projects that break barriers and I'd say plenty of companies donated time and resources as a form of research into how things would work at these extremes. I know plenty of high end engineering companies did work for them at heavily reduced rates rather than giving them money.

It would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for the people working on the project and it's work experience no one else will have.

I don't think this project is a failure just because of everything accomplished to get the project even to this stage. The task is virtually impossible, it is really testing the limits of physics and that's before it's even gotten out of the factory.

It's a shame civilization isn't capable of these larger than life projects anymore. If it's not profitable it won't happen.
 

Alex Townsend

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I think maybe throwing money at something that won't really forward the human race in any obvious way may be the barrier here.
I mean, super sonic passenger planes. I get it.
Companies able to fly into space and take people out to Mars, can understand that too.
But making a rocket fly along the ground on wheels to break the sound barrier, what good does it do to anyone currently?

Not having a dig, just genuinely interested in hearing people's opinions on why this project really matters in the first place is all.
 

Turk

1000RPM
Jul 29, 2011
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I think maybe throwing money at something that won't really forward the human race in any obvious way may be the barrier here.
I mean, super sonic passenger planes. I get it.
Companies able to fly into space and take people out to Mars, can understand that too.
But making a rocket fly along the ground on wheels to break the sound barrier, what good does it do to anyone currently?
I'd encourage anybody asking questions like that to watch the Chris Harris video.


Making a car travel at these speeds creates all sorts of problems. I think the wheels had to be made out of steel because Aluminium couldn't hold it's shape at the RPM it would be doing. Now imagine trying to balance that wheel so it can do 1000mph, incredibly difficult. There are all sorts of unforeseen engineering problems that would pop up and confronting those problems leads to new innovation in other areas.

I think making a car that can do 1000mph is going to require more genius and innovation than making another supersonic jet.


Going to Mars is pointless really. Nobodies ever going to be able to live there for any prolonged amount of time. The space ships are more relevant, because we'll all be living in space stations or staying on earth. We need earth strength gravity to live and that's not possible on any other planet. It is on a space station.
 

Alex Townsend

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I'd encourage anybody asking questions like that to watch the Chris Harris video.


Making a car travel at these speeds creates all sorts of problems. I think the wheels had to be made out of steel because Aluminium couldn't hold it's shape at the RPM it would be doing. Now imagine trying to balance that wheel so it can do 1000mph, incredibly difficult. There are all sorts of unforeseen engineering problems that would pop up and confronting those problems leads to new innovation in other areas.

I think making a car that can do 1000mph is going to require more genius and innovation than making another supersonic jet.


Going to Mars is pointless really. Nobodies ever going to be able to live there for any prolonged amount of time. The space ships are more relevant, because we'll all be living in space stations or staying on earth. We need earth strength gravity to live and that's not possible on any other planet. It is on a space station.
So you say I should watch a video about the challenges of making a car go 1000 miles per hour, yet rubbish the idea of people going to Mars?

Ok
 

Turk

1000RPM
Jul 29, 2011
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So you say I should watch a video about the challenges of making a car go 1000 miles per hour, yet rubbish the idea of people going to Mars?

Ok
I'm not so much rubbishing it but we're simply never going to live on mars. We may work there for periods of time but ultimately gravity there is an unfixable issue. The ship that gets them there is much more useful long term than whatever happens on mars.

I suppose building large space stations isn't doable on earth at the moment and maybe it would be easier to launch material from low gravity mars, making mars relevant, but the point stands. Mars is a dead end when it comes to humans finding a new place to live.
 

wombat999

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Never say Never Turk.
That aside, fixing Earth is far more important than attempting to wreck another planet!:ninja:
 

Tardy Tony

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Mar 11, 2018
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im failing to see where it would cost an extra $31.5m USD just to get it to where it could make a complete run.
Think how much it costs to build and run a F1 team with tech, skills, processes and components everybody knows and multiply by god knows what for
Never say Never Turk.
That aside, fixing Earth is far more important than attempting to wreck another planet!:ninja:
Fixing Earh? Maybe I am gratuitously controversial by nature, but Earth is in a far better state now than then! :D
 

SS454

75RPM
Sep 2, 2016
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Think how much it costs to build and run a F1 team with tech, skills, processes and components everybody knows and multiply by god knows what for
Formula 1 has the highest extreme of development costs, along with building a new car each year. Plus having driver salaries at $100m is a pretty big expense.

This rocket car looks 90% complete. I see a few body panels missing, for sure modifications on some existing parts. After that, a relatively small team to operate, logistics, a relatively unknown driver, and run costs over the course of a weekend. Expensive yes, $31.5m expensive... I don't see it.
 

Tardy Tony

250RPM
Mar 11, 2018
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Formula 1 has the highest extreme of development costs, along with building a new car each year. Plus having driver salaries at $100m is a pretty big expense.

This rocket car looks 90% complete. I see a few body panels missing, for sure modifications on some existing parts. After that, a relatively small team to operate, logistics, a relatively unknown driver, and run costs over the course of a weekend. Expensive yes, $31.5m expensive... I don't see it.
Funny, I thought I deleted that line after a moment's consideration that I was probably writing complete tosh
 

SS454

75RPM
Sep 2, 2016
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He,s a fighter pilot first,further more its himself who holds the land speed record in Thrust SSC,763 m.p.h..Bit different from going around a track at 200 m.p.h..;);)
That's my point. Relatively unknown, likely won't need some absurd amount of money to pilot the vehicle had it been some big household name. Skills and capabilities are not at question.