Rolls-Royce sponsors land speed bid

British engine maker Rolls-Royce is to sponsor for the first time a bid to break a world land speed record.

The company is backing the Bristol-based Bloodhound project, which is focused on travelling at over 1,000mph and breaking the world land speed record.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
A Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine will be used in conjunction with a custom designed hybrid rocket.

Next year the Bloodhound team are hoping to travel to South Africa to break the current land speed record of 763mph. They then will target the 1,000mph barrier.

Colin Smith, director of engineering and technology at Rolls-Royce, said the firm will also provide financial and technical support for the project. "Cutting edge engineering keeps Rolls-Royce and the UK at the forefront of global business," he said. "We understand the fundamental importance of inspiring young people about science, technology, engineering and mathematics and know that more needs to be done. Sponsoring Bloodhound gives us an opportunity to showcase world-class British engineering and invest in our future."

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Bloodhound project director Richard Noble said: "Rolls-Royce's support of the programme is invaluable, their highly motivated ambassadors will help us reach many more schools and youth groups across the country. Their experience of working within a first class aerospace company makes them perfect role models for aspiring engineers."

Rolls-Royce's iconic logo will now be displayed on the engine cowlings of the EJ200 jet engine, which in its normal role generates 20,000lb (90 kN) thrust to power the twin-engine Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft.

Rolls-Royce has a long and distinguished association with speed record breaking on land, sea and in the air. In the 1930s its 'Type R' engine powered Sir Malcolm Campbell's Bluebird cars and boats. More recently Mr Noble used a Rolls-Royce Avon 302 1983 in Thrust 2 to set a record of 633.047mph.

And in 1997 Wing Commander Andy Green became the first, and so far, only person to break the sound barrier on land in Thrust SSC, which using two Spey 202 turbofan engines set the current record of 763.035mph.

Unlike Bloodhound, Rolls-Royce did not officially sanction or endorse any of these attempts.

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