A CAR that was part-built in Wigan and aiming to break the land speed record is one step closer to completion.
The space age cockpit for the British Bloodhound supersonic vehicle was unveiled this week and the project looks set to go next year.
Driver Andy Green will use the vehicle to try to break his own world best by travelling at 800mph next summer.
He will first trial it on a Cornish test track before jetting out to South Africa where he aims to top his current record of 763mph.
If all that goes to plan, it is hoped the car will go on to break the hitherto unthinkable 1,000mph barrier.
Part of the car was constructed at the now defunct BHW Components Ltd on the Wheatlea industrial estate in 2012.
There, workers manufactured the structure which housed the two main propulsion systems; an EJ200 Eurofighter Jet engine and the unique Falcon hybrid rocket engine.
At the unveiling of the cockpit this week – a key stage in the development of the 10-year project – Mr Green said: “This is the greatest engineering adventure in motor sport. Land speed record cars do need quite a bit of steering because they have a tendency to slide around under all that acceleration.”
The development of the cockpit is a big advancement.
It has been tailored exactly to Green’s body, with a 3D printed steering wheel moulded to his grip offering him trigger-controls for the 14m long, seven-tonne vehicle’s rockets.
The cockpit alone is the result of more than 10,000 hours of design and manufacture by experts.
During the record-breaking drive next year, the carbon fibre front section will have to endure peak aerodynamic loads of up to three tonnes per square metre at 1,000mph, as well as the considerable forces generated by the front wheels and suspension.
“All of this technology will give me the most extraordinary working environment with which to get Bloodhound up to 1,000mph and also the highest level of protection we can possibly get,” added Mr Green.