U.K. investor saves Bloodhound supersonic car project
Project director Richard Noble poses for a photograph as he stands next to the British backed Bloodhound SSC streamliner car as it is displayed in London, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Nick Kirmse, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Monday, December 17, 2018 10:55AM EST
Christmas came early for fans of the Bloodhound supersonic car project, as a U.K.-based investor stepped in to save the project amid financial troubles.
The British engineering project, founded by former land-speed world record holder Richard Noble, was created with the goal of beating the current land speed record of 764 km/h.
To do that, Noble and a team of engineers designed and built the Bloodhound SSC, a car designed to travel faster than the speed of sound.
Powered by a Rolls-Royce Eurojet EJ200 jet engine bolted to three rockets, with more than 135,000 horsepower, the car was expected to hit more than 1,690 km/h.
Already in the final stages of production, Bloodhound had created an 18km long, 1,500m wide track at Hakskeen Pan in South Africa to test the car starting next year.
Back in October, with the car all but completed and low-speed trials showing the project was on pace to hit their target speeds, the team ran out of money – forcing them into insolvency.
Unable to find the almost $40 million in funding they needed to see the project through, Bloodhound announced that the project was being ended on December 7.
The team announced Monday that the project had been saved, with entrepreneur Ian Warhurst stepping in to purchase the team.
“It’s clear how much this unique British project means to people, all around the world,” Warhurst said in a statement. “My family and I have been supporters too for many years and I am delighted to have been able to safeguard the business and assets.”
A trained mechanical engineer and a long-term supporter of the Bloodhound project, Warhurst has considerable experience in the automotive engineering sector, having previously run turbocharger producer Melett for more than 15 years.
The team had previously planned to enter high speed testing next year, with an 885km/h test run in 2019 and a full speed run in 2020, but it’s unclear how the financial setbacks may affect these plans.
Warhurst said that he’ll meet with the Bloodhound team to talk about next steps, promising more news in the New Year.
The BLOODHOUND Team are delighted to announce a purchaser for the business and assets has been secured, which will allow the project to continue. Read the full story here: https://t.co/R0RcL4rIlH pic.twitter.com/yF1DhxSYs5— BLOODHOUND SSC (@BLOODHOUND_SSC) December 17, 2018