Bloodhound SuperSonic Car

Last month a group of students who are involved in the Electric Car Club at Newton Abbot College visited the Bloodhound SuperSonic Car (SSC) project which was on display at Ivybridge Community College. Using Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) the aim of this project is to build a supersonic car, powered by jet and rocket, which can go to 1,000 mph and beat the World Land Speed Record and at the same time motivate and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. It is a wholly British project, and aims to increase the supply of STEM graduates who can work in Britain and subsequently export their skills and knowledge. [caption id="attachment_6363" align="aligncenter" width="440"]Our Electric Car Club students Our Electric Car Club students[/caption] Our students had the opportunity to learn about the scope of the project in terms of design, make manufacturing/production, publicity, sponsorship, communication and media, which led to an understanding of some of the disciplines involved, together with associated career prospects.They were shown a full scale representation of the car, a sectioned model of the rocket motor, and were allowed to drive a simulated version of car during the record breaking attempt. Students had to decide at what point during the ‘run’ to ignite the supplementary rocket in order to reach 1000mph in 55 seconds, maintain speed over the measured mile (3.6 seconds) then plan the deceleration to stop the car safely in the remaining five miles … Dan Hayday got the car to 1013 mph! SSC has a jet delivering about 9 tonnes of thrust, and a supplementary rocket with a further 12 tonnes. The pump delivering fuel to the rocket is driven by a Cosworth V8 F1 car engine! Students also saw a 3Dprinter, and did a 3D printing simulation (SSC’s nose cone is a hollow titanium section built up in plasma layers on a3D printer); then a telemetry simulation to graph some speed characteristics and prove the extent and vital importance of this function. Finally they took part in a challenge to build a KNX kit rocket car in teams: the car was driven by compressed air and was in itself a very demanding task. Imogen Bray and Isabelle Osborne, both in Year 7, said “We found the trip educational, informative, fun and exciting!  It has inspired us both to carry on the work with Lucy and Freddy, our College electric cars, and to continue to work with technology.  It was a very successful trip and in one of the workshops we had to make a mini-car out of KNX.  The aim was to get the car to travel in a straight line and our group, with Oscar, Teddy and Sophie, was the only one that managed it – twice!”

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