3D Printing

High-speed plans advance for 1,000 mph Bloodhound SSC

The group behind the land-speed record attempt, Bloodhound Super Sonic Car (SSC) have now confirmed they have the backing of Chinese automotive company Geely ahead of their first high-speed run in 2017. Work began last week on the upper chassis of the vehicle following support from the Chinese Zhejiang Geely Holding Group who own Volvo and the London Taxi company.

The Bloodhound and it's new Geely sponsor sticker. Image via Autocar.
The Bloodhound and it’s new Geely sponsor sticker. Image via Autocar.

Bloodhound SSC

The supersonic car has been long in the making with Andy Green, fighter pilot and the driver of the SSC, explaining that the shape of the car took five years to perfect. This time was required in order to create a vehicle that would stay on the ground at such high speeds. The Bloodhound SSC now returned to 3M’s facility in Atherstone, near Birmingham, England, in order to receive a special paint job that will ensure the vehicle can withstand supersonic speeds.

3D printing and 3D scanning played a large part in the prototyping and design of the components as 3DPI reported earlier this year and additive manufacturing is just one example of the advanced technology required for this project.

The upper chassis prior to its paintjob. Photo by Bloodhound SSC on Twitter.
The upper chassis prior to its paintjob. Photo by Bloodhound SSC on Twitter.

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

While the full financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, the sponsorship is expected to be quite considerable, according to Andy Green “the Bloodhound now has 70% of its budget for 2016 to 2017 in place, which is amazing. In eight years, we’ve we’ve never been in that position before.” Until now the Bloodhound has been held back by a lack of full financial support. 

Li Shufu, Chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, spoke about this deal and the opportunity to broaden Bloodhound’s audience,

Since day one we have been committed to breaking technology barriers at Geely and working with Project Bloodhound will help further our mutual technology breakthrough to an international audience. It also means we can tell millions of young people, in China and around the world, about the opportunities presented by studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics. That is what makes this ‘Engineering Adventure’ so special and why we wanted to be part of it.

The team assembling the chassis in order for it to be sent to 3M. Photo by Bloodhound SSC on Twitter.
The team preparing the chassis to be sent to 3M. Photo by Bloodhound SSC on Twitter.

Plans for 2017

Moving into 2017, Bloodhound have lots of work to do with trials planned at Newquay airport in July before moving to the 11-mile track at Hakskeen Pan, South Africa in order to reach an initial speed of 800 mph. The supersonic car will need roughly nine months of further preparation before high-speed trials. Following this, the bid to break the 1000 mph record will be attempted in 2018 back in South Africa.

You can vote for Bloodhound SSC for an innovation or application award in the 3D Printing Industry Awards.

Featured image of the Bloodhound chassis. Photo by Bloodhound SSC on Twitter.