The Science Behind The Speed
By David Tremayne and The BLOODHOUND Team
Direct from The Bloodhound SSC
We might be pushing the boundaries of credibility a little far for a book review supposedly featuring classic cars, as the subject of this particular book hasn`t even been built yet! Bear with me though, as this car is going to be just a little bit special…
This book is an easy, but surprisingly detailed, read of just what is required to design and build a 1,000mph car and is actually sub titled ‘A Design Manual for the Worlds Fastest Car’ – oh yes!
I would hope you`re already familiar with the Bloodhound SSC project but in case you haven`t heard of this, frankly extraordinary, endeavour, The Bloodhound SSC is the latest British attempt at furthering the Land Speed Record – which currently stands at 763.03mph – to a positively science fictional goal of 1,000mph! Except this is science fact, not fiction.
As the UK has held the LSR since 1983, the obvious question must be, why bother?
Well, it might surprise you to know that it`s not about ego or self-aggrandizement but the promotion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in education. As team Principal (and former LSR holder), Richard Noble, is keen to point out, if the British education system continues unchanged, by 2020 this country will be over 500,000 (yes, more than half a million) engineers short of the number needed by UK industries for our increasingly technological world.
So, how do you promote STEM subjects with students when engineering isn`t considered ‘sexy’? Easy, give them an iconic engineering project with transparent data available to all – and over 7,000 schools, colleges and universities have already signed up to the project`s education programme! That`s right Formula 1, all the facts and figures are available, nothing hidden or secret – blimey, coronaries all round!
The massive engineering challenges of trying to design a car to travel at 1,000mph covers such critical matters as aerodynamics – best to avoid becoming a wingless aircraft or the world`s fastest drilling machine; materials – the wheel rims will be subjected to a staggering 50,000G at top speed; and the powertrain – which uses a Cosworth F1 engine to drive the fuel pump for a 27,000lbs thrust hybrid rocket, in addition to a Rolls-Royce Eurofighter Typhoon engine! Phew, should be adequate!
The technical details are presented in an easy to understand format for all ages and the truly wonderful full colour photos and graphics are done justice by the very high production quality, giving the reader an immensely absorbing account of just what the team are dealing with as they get steadily nearer their goal and enough pub fact ammo to bore your friends witless for months!
Potentially the greatest classic car of all time waiting to happen; get yourself onto the team`s website – Bloodhoundssc.com – and get hold of your copy as soon as possible.
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I am trying to purchase this book in South Africa. Can you tell me how to go about it.
Lynda – Thank you for asking. We are straight onto it and the good news is that Chris has strong connections with the Bloodhound SSC Team. Matt.
Lynda – The book can be purchased from the Bloodhound SSC website shop for £30 plus £15 international postage. Matt. Visit http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/shop/bloodhound-ssc-book