End of the road for Bloodhound supersonic car project

Bloodhound SSC, the British effort to build a 1000 mph supersonic car, is set to be wound up, with administrators failing to find a buyer to secure the project’s future.  

Founded in 2007 by Richard Noble and Andy Green (who set the existing land speed record of 763.035 mph with ThrustSSC back in 1997) the project had aimed to hit speeds of 1000 mph at a specially built, 18km long, 1500m wide race track at Hakskeen Pan in the deserts of the Northern Cape of South Africa.

As previously reported by The Engineer, the car had been almost fully completed. Last year (October 2017) it completed a series of 200mph test runs at Cornwall’s Newquay airport and the vehicle was soon to begin higher speed runs in South Africa.

According to BBC reports, the team has now failed to find the £25m needed to provide guaranteed funding, exit administration and see the project to completion.

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

“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.”

The project had operated on a partnership and sponsorship model, with support from a variety of partners including Rolls-Royce and Rolex as well as the Ministry of Defence which has lent prototype jet engines for the car, and the Northern Cape Provincial Government in South Africa, which has supported the creation of the track. Individual donations from members of the public have also supported the development of the car and the global education programme.