Bloodhound, the project aimed at setting a four-figure land speed record, has collapsed. After entering administration in October with high hopes of sourcing the necessary funding, all leads have dried up and the project is finished.
The endeavour, founded by the existing and previous land speed record holders, Andy Green and Richard Noble, has been low on cash ever since testing at Newquay airport last year – albeit only at 200mph.
The figures involved in running Bloodhound, which is essentially a Rolls-Royce jet engine strapped to a rocket and a cockpit, up to higher speeds are eye-watering. An estimated £5 million was needed to get the ‘car’ to hit 500-600mph along the 11-mile-long South African facility designed to host the actual record attempt.
To touch 800mph and break the current 763.035mph record would cost £15 million, and to turn everything up to 11 and go for the full 1000mph needed a £25 million injection. No investor could be found despite plenty of initial interest reported by administrators FRP Advisory – the company that found new ownership for the Force India F1 team this season. Andrew Sheridan of FRP, whose job it was to try to secure the funding, told the BBC.:
“Despite overwhelming public support, and engagement with a wide range of potential and credible investors, it has not been possible to secure a purchaser for the business and assets.
“We will now work with the key stakeholders to return the third-party equipment and then sell the remaining assets of the company to maximise the return for creditors.”
After that, almost nothing will remain of the decade-old mission to break the 1000mph barrier.