The attempt to take the land speed record past 1000mph is stepping up a gear, with initial testing scheduled for October.
At first, Bloodhound SSC’s public trial runs will rise up to and around the 200mph mark on a 1.7-mile runway in Newquay, Cornwall, and if you want to go and watch it in action while it runs through its systems, tickets are going to be sold.
Interestingly, its top speed on the day, say its makers, will be determined by how good its brakes (borrowed from an old English Electric Lightning jet) are. Right.
Provided nothing major goes wrong at that point, the whole project gets shipped to a specially-prepared 11-mile ‘track’ at Hakskeen Pan in South Africa. The aim will be to top 800mph and kick the 20-year-old 763.065mph record set by Thrust SSC into the weeds. After that, more rockets will be added, power will be tripled and maximum attack mode will be engaged, all with the 1000mph target in sight. Full power is anticipated to be the same as 180 Formula 1 cars.
For the higher-speed runs the normal wheels will be replaced by solid aluminium ones. Given that at 1000mph the wheels will be spinning at 10,200rpm, no standard rubber-shod wheel could hold together.
The ambitious target is now backed by Chinese corporate giant Geely, which seems to be throwing its money around everywhere lately, making big noises with Volvo, Polestar, Lotus and the London Taxi Company, among others.
Tickets for the public days are available here, priced from £60 for adults and £15 per child. The first 1000 sold will be reduced by £5, according to the prices on the booking page. Family tickets are on offer too.