Bloodhound project revises dates for first runs in South Africa

16th May 2018 By: Irma Venter - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Bloodhound project revises dates for first runs in South Africa

The UK team attempting to break the world landspeed record has announced a revised timeline for the project.

It has been the expectation that the Bloodhound supersonic car would travel to South Africa, where the record attempt will take place, later this year.

The current world land-speed record, set in 1997, is 763.035 mph (1 227.98 km/h).

Bloodhound project director Richard Noble says the car will now be flown to Hakskeenpan, in the Northern Cape, in May next year, “ready to take advantage of a desert surface freshly conditioned by seasonal flooding”.

The vehicle will have to slowly ramp up its speed to finally tackle the big number.

The official record attempt will be made later in 2019, from October to November.

The car – 13.4 m long, 7.5 t – will remain in South Africa between events.

The Bloodhound project has been struggling to secure funding in recent years.

“Two years’ worth of discussions with a major third party has led, this month, to a very significant development – one that will greatly enhance Bloodhound’s ability to raise funds and achieve its goals,” says Noble.

“We are in the middle of detailed planning, so [we] can’t divulge specifics, but we hope to be in a position to do so very soon.

“There have been many false dawns over the life of the project and we have, regrettably but unavoidably, tested the patience of our friends, supporters and team,” says Noble.

“The Bloodhound leadership team firmly believes this development will be a game changer, but we want to prove this, not merely hope for it.

“While intense fund-raising activity has been ongoing, the project has suffered a setback in the form of two important suppliers going into receivership before they were able to complete their work on Bloodhound.

“In light of this, but with the very real prospect that our ability to raise funds is about to be transformed, the team has re-evaluated plans for running the car.”