China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has been named as The Bloodhound Project’s prime sponsor and official automotive partner.
Signed in August, the three-year agreement will see Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH) provide technical and financial support to the Project, which aims to break the world land speed record in 2017 by travelling on Hakskeen Pan, South Africa at 1,000mph.
ZGH owns Volvo Car Group as well as London Taxi Company and is the parent company to Geely Auto, which has four international research and design centres, employs approximately 10,000 engineers worldwide and has also established universities, further education colleges and technology schools across China.
The partnership will see Geely Auto technology being used within Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC); Geely Group vehicles being used in South Africa throughout record campaigns; plus design and engineering support being provided, where required, to help the Project.
Jaguar will continue as technical partner to the Project and its V8 engine will remain the auxiliary power unit used to power the oxidiser pump for Bloodhound’s rocket.
As part of the deal, GHG will also promote the Project’s STEM Inspirational Programme throughout Asia.
Richard Noble, Bloodhound project director, said, “Not only are [Geely] an international technology company with tremendous vision and capability, they share our passion for innovation and education. Their support, both technical and financial, means we can now plan next year’s record-breaking challenge with confidence. It also means we can take our STEM inspiration message to a vast new audience, which is great for science and engineering but also for promoting Great Britain.”
Li Shufu, chairman, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, added: “Since day one we have been committed to breaking technology barriers at Geely and working with Project Bloodhound will help further our mutual technology breakthrough to an international audience.
“It also means we can tell millions of young people, in China and around the world, about the opportunities presented by studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics. That is what makes this ‘Engineering Adventure’ so special and why we wanted to be part of it.”
BLOODHOUND’s wheels spin at 10,200rpm – that’s 170 times per second. They generate 50,000 radial G. At this speed, a 1kg bag of sugar would weigh 50 tonnes, or the equivalent of a fully laden articulated lorry.
BLOODHOUND will run on the Hakskeen Pan, South Africa. This is an alkali playa, which is essentially a dried-up lake bed.
A team of 317 members of the local community were employed to clear the desert. They shifted 15,800 tonnes of stones by hand, from an area of 22 million square metres, the equivalent of clearing a two-lane road from Bristol to Moscow.
For the 1,000mph (1,600km/h) runs in 2018, BLOODHOUND SSC will be fitted with three hybrid rockets, which, when combined with the EJ200 jet engine from a Eurofighter Typhoon plane, will produce 135,000 thrust horsepower – equal to 180 Formula 1® cars.
BLOODHOUND will decelerate from 1,000mph (1,600km/h) at 3G, equivalent to slowing from 60mph (100km/h) to standstill in 1 second.
BLOODHOUND will go from zero to 1,000mph (1,600 km/h) in 55 seconds and back to zero again in a further 65 seconds, during which time it will cover 12 miles.
The EJ200 jet engine consumes 65,000 litres of air per second, sufficient to suck the air out of an average sized house in just 3 seconds.