Made in Wigan - the 1000mph car

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A WIGAN company will be involved a land speed record attempt next year.

Hampson Aerospace, one of the UK’s premier aerospace manufacturing companies, has won the design for the Bloodhound Supersonic Car.

Reporter Greg Farrimond and the Bloodhound Supersonic car

Reporter Greg Farrimond and the Bloodhound Supersonic car

Over the next year, the firm will assist in the building of the car which is hoped to break the 1,000mph barrier.

The designs were put together by Bloodhound who claimed the current land speed record in 1997, taking a car through the sound barrier for the first time.

RAF pilot Andy Green drove the Thrust SSC jet-powered vehicle at 763mph and he will take to the steering wheel next year in South Africa if all goes to plan.

BHW Components Ltd, a subsidiary of Hampson, which is based in Marus Bridge, will be manufacturing the structure which houses the two main propulsion systems; an EJ200 Eurofighter Jet engine and the unique Falcon hybrid rocket engine.

Mark Abbey, the global marketing and business development director at Hampson Aerospace, said: “It’s a very exciting day and a truly iconic programme. It’s a big task but it’s something we have experience in.”

Bloodhound project director Richard Noble approached the company last year to see if they were interested in getting involved.

Mr Abbey added: “They thought it was something where Hampson Aerospace fitted what they were looking for and we were able to help.

“It’s a very exciting thing to be involved in. The car itself is great for what it is. We haven’t got to miss the fact that it is a huge education project and it’s one that could get kids involved for many years.”

Local children from St Aiden’s Primary School were invited down to the local Caxton Close base for a close-up look and to experience what it’s like driving at 1,000mph when they tested out the simulator.

Pupil Cameron Foster added: “It looks great. I know it has a custom based rocket on top and when it’s breaking, it will have a force of 3g in the other direction. I couldn’t imagine going that fast!”

Teacher Amy Barlow said: “They thought it was absolutely brilliant. They’ve all been on the simulator and been making their own balloon cars and they’ve had a brilliant time. We’re hoping they become more interested in Maths, Science and Technology.”

The Wigan team will be made up of 13 individuals with a cross set of skills from logistics through to mechanical fitting and welding.

The primary objective of the iconic Bloodhound Project is to inspire young students to pursue careers in science, engineering, technology and maths by demonstrating how they can work together to achieve the seemingly impossible, such as the 1000 mph land-speed record attempt.

Standing at just under three metres high, the car is just under 13 metres long. It can travel four and a half football pitches in one second and the distance between Wigan and London in 12 minutes!

The scheduled completion date for the project is early next year, with a runway test taking place in the UK in autumn 2012, before going to South Africa for the record attempt.