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Transportation Toys Technology

1000-mph Car Planned 380

Posted by kdawson
from the zum-zum dept.
Smivs notes a BBC report on a British team planning a 1000-mph record-breaking car. The previous land-speed record broke the sound barrier. The proposed vehicle will get from 0 to 1,050 mph in 40 seconds. "RAF pilot Andy Green made history in 1997 when he drove the Thrust SSC jet-powered vehicle at 763 mph (1,228 km/h). Now he intends to get behind the wheel of a car that is capable of reaching 1,000 mph (1,610 km/h). Known as Bloodhound, the new car will be powered by a rocket bolted to a Typhoon-Eurofighter jet engine. The team-members have been working on the concept for the past 18 months and expect to be ready to make their new record attempt in 2011."
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1000-mph Car Planned

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  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Friday October 24, 2008 @07:57AM (#25496485)
    I can't help it but giggle when these speed-record setting land vehicules are referred to as "cars" when they're basically rockets with wheels and a seat.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday October 24, 2008 @07:57AM (#25496487)
    How about a 1000 mpg car?
    • by Shivetya (243324) on Friday October 24, 2008 @08:17AM (#25496731) Homepage Journal

      I know it is not currently but it will be one day.

      I like achievements like these. I know it costs a lot of money but my hat off to the engineers who can come up with these machines let alone the driver who dares to do it. Too many people want to sit on their couch and bitch secure in the safe little world and never get out to live life.

      I know many will scream "whats the point". Well the point is that no one has done it, people claim it cannot be done, and throw in the challenge of trying. It gives kids something to dream about, perhaps sparking some enthusiasm for different careers.

      Besides we might just learn something

      • by NoNeeeed (157503) <slash@NoSPAm.paulleader.co.uk> on Friday October 24, 2008 @09:04AM (#25497221) Homepage

        As JFK once put it very succinctly...

        "We choose to go to the moon, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard"

        If all we ever do is the easy stuff, nothing ever changes.

        And for all the people saying this is easy, why don't you give it a try then? It isn't just the money, this stuff takes serious engineering and real talent on the part of the driver/pilot.

        What amazing stuff have you done in your life?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @10:34AM (#25498397)

          Reasonable men adapt to the world around them; unreasonable men make the world adapt to them. The world is changed by unreasonable men.

          -- Edwin Louis Cole

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by kazamx (1120929)
          I sometimes get the feeling the readership of Slashdot has aged over the last few years. The wonder excitement and enjoyment of doing something seems to be on the way out and cost/benefit productivity gains and other boring crap seem to be what people worry about. There was never a reason to go to the moon. There was never a reason to climb Everest. There was never a good reason to go to the North or South Poles. There was never good reason to do many of the cool things we did, that is until we did them.
      • by famebait (450028)

        I know many will scream "whats the point".

        WHAT IS THE POINT?

        Now, I get the point of getting something to go that fast. I understand the point of getting a manned vehicle tho got hat fast. I get the point of getting one of the two to go that fast close to the ground.

        It's just the wheels bit that seems patently silly to me. It is simply not a rational choice at those speeds, and the only reason to have them is because it supposedly 'makes it a car' so you can compete in that category in stead of as a rocket or plane.

        I makes no sense. It's like set

      • by hey! (33014) on Friday October 24, 2008 @09:16AM (#25497349) Homepage Journal

        Asking the point of engineering feats like this is like asking the point of sex being enjoyable. The point of sex being enjoyable is to encourage procreation. The point of engineering being enjoyable is to encourage creativity.

        Of course, engineers like to see their creations at work, doing useful things, just like chefs love to see people eating. But speaking as an engineer who grew up in a restauranting family, you've got to be a little bit insane to go into either business. Nobody would become a chef unless they had a bizarre compulsion to cook. My brother went into that business, and you literally can't keep him away from the stove or the grill if there is cooking going on. The only reason he can sit still in a restaurant, I think, is professional interest in other aspects of the diner's experience, but even then he can't resist the temptation to host the meal, to buy drinks, to make suggestions for what to select from the menu. Some of his buddies have actually put full restaurant kitchens in their garages and spend their time off cooking.

        When I visit my relatives, on the other hand, I find myself fixing their computer problems. I can't not fix their problems, even though I hate dealing with those kinds of messes. If cars were as easy to work on from general knowledge as they were forty years ago, I'd probably be fixing their cars too. I'm just addicted to the satisfaction of getting everything sorted out.

      • by 2names (531755) on Friday October 24, 2008 @10:45AM (#25498583)
        Besides we might just learn something

        Yes, we might just learn if Fruit of the Looms can withstand the force of a 1000 MPH "Oh SHIT!" moment.
    • by Idbar (1034346)
      Well, if you don't need to brake the momentum (I assume they have had a good aerodynamics work) will give you a fairly good mpg. (After all companies have their tricks to measure it)

      But, yeah, I agree it's pointless, specially when in the US, the average highest speed limit is 70mph.
      • by Ice Tiger (10883) on Friday October 24, 2008 @08:27AM (#25496839)

        How many land speed record attempts do you know that were done by vehicles intended for commercial production and sale?

        Part of this project is to inspire the younger generation whilst at school that engineering and science isn't dull and boring and something worth getting fired up about. The UK has a shortage of home grown talent when it comes to engineering and this is helping change that for the future.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Idbar (1034346)
          "How many land speed record attempts do you know that were done by vehicles intended for commercial production and sale"

          Precisely what I was saying pointless. How many NASCAR cars you can buy and drive on the streets?

          I agree more on the F1 perspective, aerodynamics, handling, efficiency, safety, etc. Do you think land speed records provide mor "fun" than a circuit race?

          I believe the old CART (now mixed with IRL) and F1 have more to take from.

          Yes, you won't see an F1 in commercial production, but y
      • by X0563511 (793323)

        Yes, because military jet engines are known for their high fuel efficiency...

    • by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Friday October 24, 2008 @09:06AM (#25497251)

      Some simple calculations will show you that 1000 mpg (for g as in gallon of gasoline) is physically impossible.

      (1) Energy content of gasoline --- 36.6 kWh/US gallon. Let's assume that your engine works at the absolute thermodynamic limit (40%) for a combustion engine so you get 16 KWH of work out of it.
      (2) The power to move your vehicle through air is P = (1/2)(density)(projected area)(drag coeff)(velocity^3)
      (4) At sea level, 25C, 60 MPH, A = (1 m)^2, CD = .1, you have to expend P = 1.25 KW to continue moving.
      (5) In one hour, therefore, you have consumed 1.25 KWH ~ (1/12) gal. You have also moved 60 miles, giving you 60*12= 720 mpg.

      So, even under the most generous conditions, you cannot possibly do better that 700 mpg. Of course, we have neglected rolling friction of the tires and assumed that your regenerative braking system is so good that you expend no net energy starting and stopping. 720 mpg is just the energy required to move the air out of your way as you cruise to work.

      At first, I was going to mod you OT and move on, but I felt like there was something important to be said here -- efficiency is not like performance. In performance, one can always throw more energy at the problem (he's using a jet engine FFS, new sports cars are always breaking HP limits) but when going for efficiency, you are going to see diminishing returns. 100 mpg is doable, 200 mpg is doable with severe sacrifices (mainly in the comfort/cargo dept). Past that, I feel like the laws of physics are not going to be particularly kind.

      • by Miseph (979059) on Friday October 24, 2008 @10:05AM (#25497949) Journal

        Of course, one can always ignore your calculations by doing things differently than how you expect.

        For example, what is the thermodynamic limit of fuel cells? What are the thermodynamic limits of every other alternative fuel or alternative engine type? What if we use more highly refined fuel that carries more energy per unit? What if you do not travel at 60 mph in order to lower wind resistance? Speaking of wind resistance, what if you were to travel through specially designed low air pressure conduits to make air resistance nearly 0? We can change all sorts of things about the situation to make your math, while good, completely irrelevant to the scenario.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Retric (704075)
        (velocity^3) so at 55mph you could do 900mph we already have 46% effecent powerplants. And nothing is stopping us from hitting 50%. http://w1.siemens.com/innovation/en/news_events/ct_pressemitteilungen/index/e_research_news/2008/index/e_22_resnews_0814_2.htm [siemens.com]

        As a side note at highway speeds drafting can significantly increase fuel efficiency by moving to a computer controlled highway system we could increase average fuel economy above what simple drag calculations would suggest.

        PS: I don't think you wi
    • It said something about "Green" in the summary. Not that I read it or anything.....
  • by xcog (698375) on Friday October 24, 2008 @07:57AM (#25496491) Homepage
    How many MPG will it get? And where can I dock my iPod?
  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Friday October 24, 2008 @07:57AM (#25496495) Homepage Journal

    I wonder how many stars it will score on the crash test ...

  • by bcmm (768152)
    At that sort of speed, presumably all control is going to be aerodynamic anyway, making this basically a rocket-plane designed to fly so close to the ground that the wheels touch it, right?
  • is it a car as long as it has wheels?
  • falling forwards (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dnwq (910646) on Friday October 24, 2008 @08:02AM (#25496557)
    (1050/40) (mph / second) = 1.19661658 g [google.com]. Neat. Accelerating just above the rate one falls. No excessive gee forces to worry about, at least.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SirLoadALot (991302)
      You are assuming constant linear acceleration. I think it is safe to say that the acceleration when the rocket motor is turned on will be somewhat more dramatic than that. Even if you use your figure, bear in mind that gravity will still be there, and the combined force will be sqrt(1.19g + 1g) = 1.55g, so the pilot would feel 55% heavier than normal.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You are assuming constant linear acceleration. I think it is safe to say that the acceleration when the rocket motor is turned on will be somewhat more dramatic than that. Even if you use your figure, bear in mind that gravity will still be there, and the combined force will be sqrt((1.19g)^2 + (1g)^2) = 1.55g, so the pilot would feel 55% heavier than normal.

        Fixed that for you.

      • Yep. According to the interview I saw he's going to be pulling about 2.5g when the rocket kicks in.
  • ...when it is not kept on the ground by gravity?

  • Splat (Score:2, Funny)

    by FrostedWheat (172733)
    I'd hate to be a bug on that windscreen. Ooch.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I'd hate to be a bug on that windscreen. Ooch.

      To the bug, once you reach the speed of "splat", any faster is irrelevant.

      I figure anything past the first 60mph isn't going to really change anything. :-P

      Cheers

  • I'd prefer to have car speed records for something that is remotely sensible, like 10 laps at Indianopolis, or 1 lap of the complete Nürburgring. Or something like: Start at an arbitrary point X, come to a complete halt at a point Y that is at least 10 miles away, move within 1 meter to the original point X, and stand still again.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by meringuoid (568297)
      I'd prefer to have car speed records for something that is remotely sensible, like 10 laps at Indianopolis, or 1 lap of the complete Nürburgring.

      You can. [wikipedia.org] But if you're interested in sheer speed, then it's straight-line records like this which are interesting.

  • Sponsors? (Score:5, Funny)

    by speroni (1258316) on Friday October 24, 2008 @08:15AM (#25496701) Homepage

    Is this an ACME funded project?

    ACME [wikipedia.org]

  • by PearsSoap (1384741)
    "Are you telling me I can dodge bullets?"
    "When you're ready, you'll be able to outdrive them."
  • A jet that just happens to not take off (or so they hope) is not a "car". I personally set the limit of car speeds as those achieved by a combustion engine, and even then, the top drag cars are held to the earth by giant down-force-generating wings.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      A jet that just happens to not take off (or so they hope) is not a "car". I personally set the limit of car speeds as those achieved by a combustion engine, and even then, the top drag cars are held to the earth by giant down-force-generating wings.

      Same goes for Formula 1 cars -- if it weren't for wings which push down, they'd take flight.

      At what point does it stop being a car? Why stop at internal combustion? What about electric cars? Mr Fusion???

      It's not like there isn't a category of jet powered cars

      • by trongey (21550)

        Is this [jimsrepair...actors.com] a car? It has wheels and travels on the ground.

      • > Same goes for Formula 1 cars -- if it weren't for wings which push down, they'd take
        > flight.

        A short flight as they lose thrust when they lose contact with the ground.

        > At present, if it's intended to travel on the ground with wheels, at what point (other
        > than the completely arbitrary one you've given) does it stop being a car??

        Another completely arbitrary one, evidently.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          "At present, if it's intended to travel on the ground with wheels, at what point (other
          than the completely arbitrary one you've given) does it stop being a car??"

          Another completely arbitrary one, evidently.

          Actually, that was my point. :-P

          Cheers

    • by AikonMGB (1013995)

      Please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_combustion_engine [wikipedia.org]

      Specifically, there are a number of types of engine [wikipedia.org]

      that classify as "internal combustion", and jet engines (in the general case, e.g. pump-jets on SeaDoos don't count) are one of those types. And before you go off the handle, rockets are actually a sub-class of jet engine.

      Aikon-

    • Consider where the motive force comes from. A "car" uses traction between the wheel and the ground, regardless of how that wheel is turned. A "jet car" or "rocket car" uses the reactive force from a high-speed exhaust stream, but is still designed to stay in contact with the ground. An "aircraft" may strongly resemble a "jet car" with the aerodynamic surfaces inverted, having the intent to leave contact with the ground.

      As with the legal system, intent often makes the biggest distinction.
    • If you want a better definition of car, you might require that the primary motive force be applied by means of the wheels.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @08:30AM (#25496871)

    Hamster! You want to try it out ?

  • So? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178)
    The proposed vehicle will get from 0 to 1,050 mph in 40 seconds.
    Yeah, sure, but... how well does it corner?
  • the point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by confused one (671304) on Friday October 24, 2008 @09:05AM (#25497245)

    Whatsthepoint

    "Candy doesn't have to have a point. That's why it's candy" -- Charlie Bucket, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    If you can't see the analogy... We may not be able to save you.

  • I'm really not impressed with the 1000mph car. I mean, it would help me get to work on time more quickly but what if I need to run out for some beers and firewood before the game and my wife wants me to take the kids with me? For that, I really need a 1000mph station wagon or SUV? Dodge are you hearing this? :-)

  • I mean, it was cool and everything when we're talking about powered wheels pushing these suckers this fast. But when we're talking about what's essentially a jet aircraft using massive aerodynamic engineering to keep it wedded to the ground with fancy tires designed not to explode under the stress, it just seems ridiculous. It's a jet aircraft, let it fly above the ground and not be subject to the difficulties of staying in contact with the ground. If you still want to be pedantic and not make it a true air

  • If your wife keeps yelling "faster, FASTER!" in bed, maybe it doesn't mean you should attach a jet engine to your car...

    Or at least don't count on her getting your life insurance after you crash...

  • Smivs notes a BBC report on a British team planning a 1000-mph record-breaking car. The previous land-speed record broke the sound barrier. The proposed vehicle will get from 0 to 1,050 mph in 40 seconds.

    I'm sorry. Could you repeat that? I think I got some crazy in my ear.

  • Can we please stop calling these "cars?"

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