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The Bloodhound Car Can Outrace Superman

Superman might have to step it up a notch. The British are now working on a vehicle that will make his “faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound” description seem less super. The jet and rocket-powered Bloodhound SSC (super sonic car) will allow mere humans to travel faster than a speeding bullet. If Superman and the SSC were racing in the desert, (where there aren’t any buildings acting as hurdles), the driver of the car could catch the Man of Steel.

The Bloodhound Project, a three-year effort launched October 23 by Richard Noble, developed the car. Noble’s last project, the Thrust car, reached 763mph. The Bloodhound SSC is expected to reach Mach 1.4, set a new World Land Speed Record and exceed the low altitude speed record for aircraft of 994 mph.

A press release outlines just a few of the challenges Noble and his team will face to meet this goal:

The 12.8m long, 6,422kg (fueled), jet and rocket-powered
vehicle will be more advanced than most spacecraft and faster than a
bullet fired from a handgun. Its 900mm diameter wheels will spin at
over 10,000rpm, generating 50,000 radial g at the rim. The car will
accelerate from 0 – 1,050mph in 40 seconds and at V-max (maximum
velocity), the pressure of air bearing down on its carbon fibre and
titanium bodywork will exceed twelve tonnes per square metre.

To put it in perspective, when the car’s driver, Andy Green (a royal
Air force fighter pilot and mathematician), gets behind the wheel,
he’ll be covering a distance equivalent to over four football pitches
every second, or 50 meters in the blink of an eye.

The goal is not to diminish Superman’s powers but, rather, to make
science seem as super as he is. The bid to break the World Land Speed
Record, by the greatest incremental increase in the history of the
record, is supposed to inspire schoolchildren to embark on careers in
science and engineering. The government is funding the education
outreach; private sponsorship is underwriting the development of the
car. At these speeds the car could look like it’s flying. Maybe Green
will wear a cape and tights to the trials.

Go super-science! It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a Bloodhound!

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