I don't know how many saw the launch of the latest landspeed record attempt by Richard Nobel and Andy Green recently. This time they are going for 1000mph.
Site at www.bloodhound.ssc
I thought the last car (ThrustSSC) was pretty awe inspiring (- ever see the video of the supersonic shock waves from its nose) but this one (using a Eurofighter engine plus rocket) is a big step forward - Mach 1.4+. What is particularly interesting about this attempt is that the actual goal is as much to inspire and exite young people in engineering and science as it is to break the record. With the sad demise of Concorde and other leading edge challenges it will be great to see this develop.
"In the UK, and many of the developed countries worldwide, there is a shortage of scientists, engineers and mathematicians and we therefore urgently need our young people to be motivated to enjoy and study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects at school and then at university. The BLOODHOUND Project is endeavouring to be the catalyst through which young people will acquire the skills and develop innovative talents that will enable them to overcome the challenges we face on a global scale."
To this end, the project will be releasing lots of engineering and science info and will have an active scools and education project running throughout the programme.
It looks like a great idea and one where we can suspend cynicism and enjoy being part of doing something just because it's there to be done. Not to mention that that Mr Green has exceedingly big cojones to want to ride that sort of kit again.
So anyone fancy strapping a Eurojet EJ200 with 20,000lbs thrust onto their rib? Should make it move a bit but having heard them they are a tad noisier than your average big 4 stroke lump.