The science behind the 1,000 mph bullet car

October 24th, 2008 - 12:59 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Oct 24 (ANI): Scientists have explained the technicalities behind a car that aims to be the fastest vehicle of all time by breaking the 1,000 mph barrier, which would make it faster than a speeding bullet.

Bloodhound SSC, named after the British cold war supersonic air defence missiles, will attempt to beat the existing record by more than 250mph.

Working from an aircraft hangar in Bristol, the research teams engineers have been working on the project in secret for the past 18 months.

Calculations suggest the car could reach 1,050mph, fast enough to outrun a bullet from a .357 Magnum revolver.

The Bloodhound team plans to have the car built within a year, with the record attempt expected in three years.

Scientists at the UKs National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have worked with the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and Fluid Gravity Engineering (FGE) to advise the world-record bid team on two of the most high-risk aspects of the world record attempt wheel and rocket designs.

The wheels are arguably the most important design feature for the vehicle. To reach 1,000 mph, they need to be able to rotate at 10,500 rpm without being damaged by the surface or any stones that they run over.

They also need to be as light as possible to minimise steering and suspension forces, absorb all of the weight, down force loads and stresses and distribute this pressure without causing damage to the vehicle or the surface.

To make sure that none of these issues were a risk NPL spent the last year examining every aspect of the wheel design.

Its materials experts researched the choice of metals and composites that could be used in the design, providing reports on titanium and aluminium alloys, and metal composites.

This will help to advise the team on what materials are most compatible to the wheel size, brake and suspension requirements.

NPL also worked with AWE and FGE in considering the effect that shockwaves would have on the wheel design, and advised on the best way to manufacture the wheels.

The vehicle will have the first ever mixed powerplant of a hybrid rocket motor and a jet engine that is currently used on the Eurofighter Typhoon. It uses cutting edge jet technology to provide the initial thrust and the novel rocket impulse to achieve the 1,000 mph target.

NPL also provided advice on the type of materials to be used in the rocket design, how high temperatures would affect them, what the best material would be for rocket nozzles and how all of these should be produced.

Further tests will help to optimise the injector design, oxidiser streams into the fuel grain, radiation transfer, regression rates and rocket motor exhaust. (ANI)

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