1000mph car debuts at Farnborough

The Bloodhound team has unveiled - for the first time - the complete life size show car at this year's Farnborough International Airshow.

At 12.8m, the vehicle is longer than four Minis parked end to end. The 1:1 replica is the result of three years of aerodynamic study and 10 design evolutions to perfect the shape and aerodynamic package.

Aerodynamic research using computational fluid dynamics was conducted by Swansea University, MathWorks and EPSRC, and, according to Bloodhound, at key moments the project utilised more computing power than the Met Office.

The aerodynamic team, lead by Ron Ayers, generated millions of mathematical equations to investigate how the air around the car would react as the car accelerates to its maximum design speed of 1,050mph. Using this information they then designed an efficient shape that would be stable at supersonic speeds and controllable a sub-sonic velocity.

The show car started life as 5 x 2m3 polystyrene blocks, which were then cut into bucks and moulds using 3 axis machining by Birmingham based Baker Patterns of Birmingham. Fibreglass and resin was then laid over the bucks in a process that took 'thousands of hours' to hand finish. The work was done by CHW Composites and Mike Horne Design on the Isle of Wight.

The 950kg Bloodhound model, which separates into three sections, was then applied with six coats of Akzo Nobel aerospace paint by Aero-Composites and transported to Farnborough by hauliers, G&J Lockwood.

Chris Shaw

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