Friday, March 20, 2009


This is a fascinating article to read, but at the end, my question is "Why?" How to design a 1,000mph car.

There's some fun dry humor (To keep Andy from flying or inventing the world's fastest burrowing machine, we have to control the airflow over the car extremely carefully to avoid a buildup of high pressure under the car...), some interesting engineering problems (...the sorts of numbers we're dealing with: potentially more than 210 kilonewtons (47,000lbs) of thrust from the jet and rocket engines, which together make Bloodhound SSC over 160 times more powerful than a Formula 1 car; four huge and heavy solid-titanium wheels spinning at up to 10,300 revolutions per minute, generating 50,000 g at the rim; air screaming past the carbon and aluminium bodywork at 1000mph, applying 12 tonnes of pressure to every square metre of bodywork ...), and of course the thrill of catastrophic danger, combined with !CARS!, which the western mind apparently conflated with "cool" immediately upon their invention. There's also an animated video that impressively shows the car outrunning a bullet from a magnum .357.

But why?

I think it could potentially be justified in terms of engineering techniques developed, materials science advances... in fact, I can think of all sorts of issues that this project might pay off in what is discovered. It just seems like there might be, ya know, some practical project(s) that lead to the same ends. There is no mention of cost, either what has been spent so far, nor what is anticipated in the future.

I wonder why?

1 comment:

Dean Wormer said...

I can solve this problem with less cost and work through relativity.

Take your 15-year old son or daughter on a driving lesson. It FEELS like you're going 1000 mph.