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Transportation Science

The Car Faster Than a Speeding Bullet 405

Posted by Soulskill
from the yeah-but-how's-the-suspension dept.
pbahra writes "Formula 1 is seen as the apogee of engineering excellence and automotive power. So it says something that in Bloodhound SSC — the car that, if all goes well, in 2013 will shatter the current land speed record — the Cosworth Formula 1 engine is just the fuel pump. 'We are creating the ultimate car; we're going where no-one has gone before,' said Richard Noble, the project director. The car, which Mr. Noble says takes £10,000 a day just to keep it ticking over, will be powered by not one, but two other engines. The smaller one, the EJ200, is normally found in the British Royal Air Force's Typhoon jet. Its job is to get the 13.4 meter long car up to 350 mph. That's when the big one kicks in. The big one is the 18-inch diameter, 12-foot-long Falcon rocket, the largest of its kind ever made in the UK. Its job is to catapult the car through the sound barrier to its maximum speed of 1,050 mph. That is, literally, faster than a speeding bullet."
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The Car Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

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  • The Challenge (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Monday March 07, 2011 @06:29PM (#35412236) Homepage

    The real challenge is not getting a vehicle to go that speed... It's getting a vehicle to stay on the ground and under control at that speed.

  • Re:Well (Score:2, Insightful)

    by afidel (530433) on Monday March 07, 2011 @06:39PM (#35412392)
    I bet you also buy all your goods locally produced, eh? Oh, wait, you have a computer which means you use the international product distribution system (including roads) you twit.
  • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SharpFang (651121) on Monday March 07, 2011 @06:43PM (#35412464) Homepage Journal

    But what useful knowledge would we gain from this experiment?

    I mean, we get supersonic vehicle to stay on the ground at speeds where it would most definitely rather fly. It's not all that useful. We develop air drag model and shape for a vehicle which has no practical purpose, nor ever will. We spend lots of money and resources just to develop a variant of a jet plane we forcibly keep from flying, for no good reason but to call it a "car" and beat a "ground" speed record.

    I still say it''s a waste: the little we can actually learn from this could be either learned using vastly less resources, or the resources could be used to learn something vastly more useful.

  • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday March 07, 2011 @06:44PM (#35412480)

    That's a good use our our civilization's precious natural resources.

    Well that's kind of who we are as a civilization. We climb mountains because they are there. We landed on the moon, half because we wanted to challenge ourselves (and half to show our economic system was better than communism...).

    It's a general feature of life to use resources like mad without thinking long-term until the resource is nearly depleted and we have no choice. Natural selection really grilled that lesson in deep before it gave us brains smart enough to begin to question it.

  • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Monday March 07, 2011 @07:09PM (#35412800) Journal

    I've just been scrolling through some of the comments above. "Why bother?" "Spend money on hospitals!" "What are we going to learn from this?" "This isn't really a car because the power isn't going through the wheels." "Waste of money!" "There are cooler projects to spend money on!"

    You know what? Get over yourselves!

    Every time I see a cool story posted on /. I find myself bracing for the impact of a squillion know-it-all comments about how useless it is from the usual armchair "I call bullshit" merchants who think they have all the answers to all the world's problems. Oftentimes it's American commenters from the "not invented here" lobby who want to pull a World Cup defence and say "Well it's a bullshit competition anyway so we don't care if we get whipped!" Grow the fuck up! The Brits have made the land speed record their own and I for one tip my hat to them. It's a great way to inspire kids to get involved in engineering, just like your toy with the heavy wings and expensive heat shield up there at the minute.

    So the UK government is pushing a sponsorship-funded R&D project that doesn't have immediate commercial payoff. Big deal! What would you prefer to spend the money on? Another day in Iraq?

    Jesus wept! Can we not have a story posted on here anymore without having to wade through all this obnoxious crap?

    Oh, and I have karma to burn, so knock yourself out if you don't like a bit of straight talking.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2011 @08:02PM (#35413508)

    I mean, we get supersonic vehicle to stay on the ground at speeds where it would most definitely rather fly. It's not all that useful. We develop air drag model and shape for a vehicle which has no practical purpose, nor ever will. We spend lots of money and resources just to develop a variant of a jet plane we forcibly keep from flying, for no good reason but to call it a "car" and beat a "ground" speed record.

    Actually "we" don't get anything and "we" don't do anything. They are going to do it, they will pay for it, they will have all the frustration and fun, and they will get the bragging rights. You can go do whatever you think is useful like complain about other people being wasteful.

  • It's their money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Monday March 07, 2011 @08:03PM (#35413524)

    It's their money, their hobby, their time. It's nobody else's business.

  • Re:Well (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dracolytch (714699) on Monday March 07, 2011 @08:30PM (#35413770) Homepage

    I, for one, am glad I live in a world where the practical dominates my day-to-day, but the fantastical is occasionally made reality.

    Get your head out of your bank acocunt balance, and enjoy the dream... Especially since you're not writing the checks, and the dream looks like a fun one.

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman

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