New Zealand team to take on landspeed record

New Zealand team to take on landspeed record
A New Zealand team is to challenge the Bloodhound SSC for the World Landspeed Record with an all black, 13m long speed machine dubbed Jetblack.

A full scale model of the new vehicle was this week revealed at an event in Auckland. According to project manager Richard Nowland, a young New Zealand entrepreneur, the car will be the first to have an all composite chassis, and will have state of the art Bowsher wheels.

The Jetblack will be powered by a turbo fan engine and two hybrid rockets, the latter produced by the Space Propulsion Group in California, USA. These, according to Nowland, are similar to the rockets used in Space Ship Two, Virgin Galactic's passenger spacecraft.

"My goal for Jetblack is to promote New Zealand's engineering and innovation capability," Nowland said. "Every single part of the car must be designed - there is almost nothing we can take off the shelf. And that poses great opportunities and challenges for our technology, engineering and manufacturing industries."

The World Landspeed Record of 763mph is currently held by Andy Green, who drove Thrust SSC for Great Britain. This record was set in October 1997 at Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA.

The Jetblack team plans to challenge the World Landspeed Record in five or six year's time. Possible locations include India, the Arabian Gulf, the USA and Australia.

Laura Hopperton

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