A British team that’s been blasting past land-speed records since 1983 is ready to break it again. After surpassing their previous best by reaching 763 m.p.h. in 1997, the crew has drafted a design for a new supersonic car capable of hitting 1,050 m.p.h. – or 10 miles every 34 seconds.
The new craft, dubbed the Bloodhound, will be 42 feet long and weigh more than 6 tons. With two rockets bolted to the back – one to kick-start the launch and a second jet hooked up to a racing engine – the vehicle will need a shell as tough as a submarine’s to withstand the pressure. At top speed, the air will pound against the hull at more than 12 tons of force per square yard.
Richard Noble, who manned the team’s first record-breaker in 1983 and has led the Bloodhound team for the past 18 months, hopes sponsors will pick up the expected $16.1 million bill. If all goes well, Noble’s crew will finish and fire up the car by 2011.
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