British land speed team releases Bloodhound specs

The British team behind the latest land speed record attempt has revealed all the technical secrets behind the dramatic Bloodhound SSC.

There are two reasons why the engineers are sharing their data - the team has said from the start that it is keen for the project to be an open one that encourages students to get interested in the science and witchcraft behind the attempt to drive at 1,000mph.The second is that we can't imagine that any rivals who may be out there will particularly gain from knowing what they are doing so the team has nothing to hide. It's not as if you could just knock together a car in a few weeks and beat Richard Noble, Andy Green and team to the record.

After all, when you're talking about wheels which will be rotating 10,304 times per minute - that's 170 times every second - you don't pitch up at the local Kwik Fit. To make sure they are up to the task, the team are apparently testing them at the same place that assesses the main turbines used in power stations.

The jet engine which powers Bloodhound might not be the most efficient ever made, but the team claims it is not as bad as you might think, eating up 1.3kg of fuel per second while providing 60,000newtons of push. Light the afterburner and this goes up to 4.3kg of fuel per second, and 90,000newtons of thrust. Even at idle it uses 0.25kg of fuel a second.

The data document also goes into full detail on the weights of the car, breaking everything down to the parachutes and the driver. We should get more information in the autumn, including more drawings of this staggering machine.

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