Video: listen to the Bloodhound SSC's jet engine roar to life

By topgear ,


The Bloodhound SSC is a maelstrom of maths. Figures and equations that range from frustrating to as-yet-unsolved flow through its jet engine, over its flanks and off into the dark corner of humanity’s collective knowledge that’s labelled ‘We just don’t know yet. Sorry about that’.

Thankfully, that’s all for the brains working on the Bloodhound project to figure out. For those of us whose scientific education extends as far as playing with bunsen burners, making corn-starch goo and trying not to laugh during biology, we have this video.

So what exactly are you looking at? Well, it’s basically a test of the Bloodhound’s exceptionally powerful EJ200 jet engine, cranking it over without firing the whole thing up properly. It’s a systems check of the whole shebang, essentially to make sure she doesn’t go bang. We’ll claim our ‘Dad joke of the Year’ award now, thanks.

You may think that this systems check is a preamble to firing the jet engine up properly. And, in this case, you’d be spot on. Celebrate in the manner most suitable to you.

What we’re leading up to is the very first time that the jet will be fired up while it’s actually installed in the Bloodhound SSC. And that’s a big moment – it represents the fruition of years of planning, modelling, prototyping, testing, revising, re-testing, tea-breaks, overall-wearing and spectacle-resettling, performed by a team of boffins who make Stephen Fry look like Karl Pilkington.

Also installed in the SSC will be fighter pilot, land-speed-record veteran and TG office man-crush Andy Green. He’ll test the Bloodhound’s jet engine while it’s anchored to the ground, before setting off on a few low-speed shakedown runs to make sure that everything translates from the world of CAD and CFD to the world of air, ground and painful consequences.

And, on October 26, 28 and 30, Wing Commander Green will hit about 200mph (322kph) at Cornwall Airport Newquay, before taking on the 1,000mph (1,609kph) barrier in South Africa.

So, when can you expect a 1,000mph run? Well, it turns out you can’t rush speed…