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Rocket Science

15/11/2016 | General

The BLOODHOUND Project is a global Engineering Adventure, using a 1,000 mph world land speed record attempt to inspire the next generation to enjoy, explore and get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Sitting in a pristine industrial unit just around the corner from Pirtek Bristol is Bloodhound, not so much a rocket powered car, more like fighter jet minus its wings.  It is a thing of beauty, something that makes you smile when you look at it, something that makes you want to touch it to make sure it is real.

Its connection with Pirtek Bristol is almost surreal, and started with one of Bloodhound's engineers - Lee– walking into the trade counter at the Centre with a fitting, three years ago, and asking if they had one of these but in stainless steel. It happened to be part of the rocket fuel pipeline. It had to be stainless steel because the rocket fuel was highly corrosive.

It was the start of a very productive relationship with Pirtek supplying a huge range of parts and fittings.

The Bloodhound supersonic car that is designed not only to go faster than the speed of sound but to over 1,000mph (1,600km/h). It will cover a mile in just 3.6 seconds. At 13.4 metre long and weighing 7.5 tonnes, the design is a mix of car and aircraft technology, with the front section being a carbon fibre monocoque and the back portion being a metallic framework and panels made from aluminium, titanium. The Car will be powered by a jet engine and a rocket, which together will produce more than 135,000 horsepower: Over 110 man years of effort have already been invested in the design, build and manufacture.

Bloodhound SSC is, without doubt, the most complicated car ever built. When finished, it will comprise over 3,500 parts (and 22,500 rivets), of which many have been designed and manufactured uniquely for this car. Approximately half the thrust of Bloodhound SSC is provided by a EUROJET EJ200, a highly sophisticated military turbofan normally found in the engine bay of a Eurofighter Typhoon. This uses a Jaguar V8 to start the fuel pump on the 1,000 litre HTP tank. In order to accelerate the car to 1,000mph, each Nammo hybrid rocket will provide a thrust of 30kN (6,000 lbs). This will be combined with the thrust from the EJ200 jet to generate about 212kN (47,700lbs).

Just to put it into perspective, all that power will enable Bloodhound to cover four and a half football pitches in 1 second, that's 150 metres in the blink of an eye, considerably faster than a bullet fired from a Magnum 357 and cover its own car length in less than three hundredths of a second.

Although Pirtek Bristol has worked directly on the project it has led to spin off work with London University though the fuel lines. The Bloodhound project has connections with 5,000 schools and is hoping to inspire potential engineers in the future. It has provided work for many specialist engineering companies as well as utilising the skills at CFD, Swansea University who did most of the computer design and UE in Bristol who helped design the individual parts. The project is already breaking boundaries and will benefit British industry for years. The project is estimated to cost £19 million but it has a huge rage of sponsors, Rolls Royce, Rolex, Castrol, Parkers, Bott. If you wish to help sponsor the Bloodhound, then visit, you could even have your name on the fin for £10.

And Pirtek Bristol's contribution? Apart from all the parts and help, they have ensured everything is done as cheaply as possible for the project.

Latest News

Lockdown Update - January 2021

Lockdown Update - January 2021

As we enter a new phase of COVID-19 restrictions nationally, we would like to assure you that Pirtek will remain entirely operational throughout this period. All our local... MORE