Other Associations

The following is an example of other Organisations’ meetings to which our members have access. Several of our members regularly attend these lectures in various locations in the local area. We are grateful to Barrie for his most recent report. (Editor)

Bloodhound SSC :Set the dogs free!

A report by Barrie J Yates on Professor Dave Crolla’s lecture at the University of Huddersfield on Tuesday 1st December 2009.

If you think that 1000mph on land is a completely mental target, then read on. I attended this lecture with Ken Norris, together representing our Association and here is my overview of the evenings talk.

The first thing to say is that we were told that the aim of designing and running a world record beating car is not the primary objective of the project. It is Education and promoting enthusiasm for all things technical. Called STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, it involves 2400 Schools, 176 Further Education Institutes, and 33 Universities.

The overall project leader is Richard Nobel who produced the present World record winning car Thrust, which was powered by two Rolls Royce jet engines. Talking of the present record, Wing Commander Andy Green who drove Trust to the present record of 763mph in 1997, calls himself the World’s fastest Mathematician as he has a double first from Cambridge.

So what about the car? In fact the design of the Bloodhound SSC is a totally unique vehicle unlike anything we have ever seen before. It is capable of acceleration to 1000mph in 40 seconds – in a much shorter time than it took Thrust2 to reach 650mph (70 seconds). It will be built at a facility in Bristol on the quay next to the SS Great Britain, and funded mainly by public subscription.

The Land Speed record rules set out by the FIA are deliberately open. You must run over a measured mile, have four wheels, and they must touch the ground, and be under the control of the driver. (You are not allowed to say pilot ! ) The run must be in two opposite directions and the second run must be completed within one hour.

To achieve the very high speed, the power will be provided by a turbojet engine from a Typhoon aeroplane augmented by the thrust from a rocket motor. In fact the car has three engines, what Dave called a ‘Donkey’ engine is in fact an 800 HP V12 required just to pump fuel to the rocket engine. The original design concept was to have the rocket engine on the top of the car to enable it to be easily removed at the end of the first run. It gets VERY HOT, and a nice new one will be fitted for the second run. Looking at the aerodynamics and the CG shifts as the fuel is burnt; the second idea was to have the rocket engine underneath the jet on as this configuration provides greater stability. The rocket will be in a tube much like a torpedo to enable a quick removal and replacement. . One of the most difficult parts of the design are the wheels and their surface contact; the forces on the wheels periphery is estimated at 50,000 g.

The team have found an ideal site to use for the record attempt. After an extensive global search, a site has been found that is just about perfect … Hakskeen Pan in South Africa.

Dave showed us some really nice videos, one of which showed a race between a bullet fired from a Magnum gun and the Bloodhound car, and the winner was….. The car! There are many technical problems to be overcome, but the car could be running at Hakskeen in eighteen months if the funding of a mere two to three million pounds can be raised. Perhaps our association could contribute to the fund and have our name on the car?

Altogether a most interesting and well presented lecture, by a previous and well regarded Head of School at Leeds, who is now a consultant to the Bloodhound Project, and a visiting Professor at Leeds.

B. J. Yates

Table of contents
President’s Report 2010
Officers of the Leeds Association of Engineers
Presidents and Vice Presidents of the Association 1865 to 2010
Secretaries of the Association
In office 2004 to 2010
Meeting Sponsorship
Young Engineer Award or Project Scheme
Anniversary Dinners 2005 to 2010
Extract from the “Rules of the Leeds Association of Engineers”
Formula Student
Other Associations