BLOODHOUND Prepares to Fly

Supplementary content information

EPSRC is a founding sponsor of BLOODHOUND SSC, which aims to break the world land speed record at Hakskeen Pan in South Africa. 

The vehicle was transported to Cornwall a few weeks ago and had its tail fin, which bears the names of 1,000 individual sponsors, many of them children, fitted last Saturday.

Final preparations are taking place today (Wednesday 25 October), and the first runs will take place in front of a VIP and media audience on Thursday 26 October. The public will get their first views over the coming weekend.

EPSRC has been involved in the BLOODHOUND project since its inception in 2008. It funded an aerodynamics team at Swansea University that has played a vital role in the project, carrying out the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) research crucial to ensuring BLOODHOUND stays on the ground and can deal with the air flow.

Swansea’s Dr Ben Evans says: “Wind tunnels have massive limitations. BLOODHOUND is a car, so it’s rolling on the ground. There are no wind tunnels where you can simulate this with a car travelling faster than the speed of sound. Our job is to make sure the vehicle stays on the ground, and that the drag is as low as possible.”

In addition, EPSRC has supported the project’s educational programme which has engaged with over 5,000 schools and over two million children have enjoyed BLOODHOUND activities.

Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s Chief Executive, says: “BLOODHOUND has already introduced thousands of children to the exciting world of science, engineering and maths, building their own model rocket cars, learning about aerodynamics and generally having fun. 

“It has also drawn together expertise from different industry sectors and attracted global interest and sponsorship. EPSRC is proud to have been with the project from the start and looks forward to seeing it break the world land speed record.”


  • BLOODHOUND is approximately 13.4 metres long and weighs 7.5 tonnes
  • 20 tons of drag on the car at 1,000 mph
  • At 3,000oC the temperature in the rocket is twice as hot as the inside of a volcano
  • 3.6 seconds to do the flying mile
  • At 180 decibels, the hybrid rocket could be louder than a 747 taking off
  • 0-1,000 in 55 seconds and 500-1,000 in 17 seconds

For media enquiries contact:

EPSRC Press Office, Tel: 01793 444404, e-mail:

Notes for Editors

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.

By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture.

We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via UK Research and Innovation.

Reference: PN 66-17