Bloodhound project links up with Norwegian rocket specialist

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Norway’s NAMMO is to supply hybrid rocket technology to the Bloodhound Project, a supersonic vehicle designed to break the world land speed record.

Currently under construction in Bristol, the vehicle aims to break the land speed record with a top speed of Mach 1.4.

NAMMO rockets are currently used by the European Space Agency to separate the stages of Ariane 5. The company is also developing a new family of compact hybrid rockets at its test facility in Raufoss, Norway.

A combination of these motors will be used in BLOODHOUND SSC to provide approximately 27,500lbs (123.75kN) of thrust which, when combined with 20,200lbs (90kN) thrust from the car’s EJ200 jet, will generate the equivalent of 135,000 thrust horse power (thp).

Aerodynamic drag increases four-fold for every doubling of speed, and this level of motive force is required to push the car to its 1,050mph (1,690kmh, Mach 1.4) maximum design speed, where the air pressure will be 11 tonnes per square metre.

In a statement Bloodhound’s chief engineer Mark Chapman said, ‘Nammo is a great addition to our team. Their technology is outstanding, as are their test facilities. Most important, though, is their enthusiasm for being part of this unconventional, high profile, engineering adventure.  They share our passion for inspiring the next generation of engineers and innovators.’

The BLOODHOUND Project previously employed a US based rocket research firm, Falcon Project to validate the concept of using a hybrid rocket in the car.

This work culminated in a static test, shown live, in October 2012, where the Team fired its 18” motor. Although successful, the test showed that further development work was needed to optimise this bespoke design.