Matt Robinson profile picture Matt Robinson 24 days ago 6
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Watch As Bloodhound LSR Tops 1000kmh In Final Desert Test

Bloodhound took a step closer to beating the Land Speed Record, with the car hitting 628mph in the Kalahari Desert

Remind me later

Sadly for all of us eagerly awaiting updates and videos, Bloodhound LSR’s high-speed desert tests have concluded. But the team went out on a high, smashing the 600mph target.

In its final run, the jet-powered vehicle hit 628mph, or 1010kmh. Faster than the cruising speed of a Boeing 747.

To put that in perspective, the press release points out that at this speed, Bloodhound would be able to go from London to Edinburgh (414 miles) in 39 minutes. Or for an example closer to the Kalahari Desert testing location, Cape Town to Johannesburg in an hour and 23. It’s fast, then.

Image via Bloodhound LSR
Image via Bloodhound LSR

The last run wasn’t far off the 650.88mph achieved by Thrust 2 - the car that held the Land Speed Record from 1983 to 1997. And to think, this isn’t even Bloodhound’s final form. It’ll be returning in 12 - 18 month’s time with a Nammo ‘monopropellant rocket’ to go even faster.

The Rolls-Royce EJ200 engine - something you’d normally find in a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet - develops 90kN of thrust, which is around 54,000bhp. The rocket will work in conjunction with this, bringing an additional 60kN to the table.

It’s this extra clout which will help Bloodhound blast through the sound barrier to its initial 800mph target, and eventually beyond 1000mph. And although the vehicle hasn’t gone supersonic yet, supersonic airflow has been detected under it by some of the 192 pressure sensors. This airflow was fast enough to strip away paint. Yikes.