Despite the fact that the Bloodhound LSR (Land Speed Record) jet car managed to accelerate to its highest speed not so long ago, it still needs to “build muscle” a bit before it can attempt to accelerate to 800 mph (1,287 kilometers per hour). Currently, a Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine from the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter delivers speed to the Bloodhound, but in the near future this engine will be replaced by another, more compact and more powerful one, which, moreover, does not emit any harmful substances into the environment.
We remind our readers that during the tests that were carried out in November last year on the track laid along the bottom of the dried lake Hakskenpan, Kalahari Desert, South Africa, the Bloodhound LSR was able to accelerate to a speed of 1 010 kilometers per hour (629 miles per hour). This is a record speed for this project, but it is still far from the mark of 763.035 miles per hour (1,227.9 kilometers per hour), which is an existing speed record. The creators of the car Bloodhound not only hope to break this record, but also go far enough ahead, having conquered the mark of 1,000 miles per hour (1,609 kilometers per hour).
Plans for using a green jet engine have been hatched by the Bloodhound team since 2014. This engine was made by the Norwegian space company Nammo, and the principles of its operation were originally developed to actuate the CubeSat standard microsatellites. Therefore, the new jet engine is compact, lightweight and can be seamlessly integrated into the design of the Bloodhound LSR.
Instead of traditional rocket fuel, the Nammo “single-fuel” engine runs on concentrated hydrogen peroxide, on water, the molecule of which has an additional hydrogen atom. Liquid peroxide under high pressure is fed into the chamber, where it passes through a silver grid, acting as a catalyst decomposing hydrogen peroxide into oxygen and superheated to a temperature of 600 degrees Celsius water vapor. A mixture of oxygen and steam escapes through the engine nozzle, producing jet propulsion without any emission of harmful substances.
Currently, the operation of the pump pumping hydrogen peroxide into the chamber is provided by an 8-cylinder internal combustion engine. According to current plans, the Bloodhound will turn greener when the pump motor is replaced by a battery-powered electric motor. And as a backup option, the Bloodhound team is exploring the possibility of converting the EJ200 engine, now powered by aviation kerosene, to biofuels.
Currently, the Bloodhound LSR is located at its base, in the UK Land Speed Record Center, where team experts are preparing to install a Nammo jet engine and are doing some work to improve individual components and the design of the car as a whole.