Students get to grips with supersonic car

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STUDENTS from Byrchall School in Wigan have become part of a story that is inspiring the next generation of children in Britain.

The story is about the fastest car ever built, one that can move faster than a bullet and reach speeds of 1,000 mph.

Nathan Allen,13, with the model of Bloodhound SuperSonic Car

Nathan Allen,13, with the model of Bloodhound SuperSonic Car

The car, called Bloodhound SuperSonic Car (SSC for short), is the ultimate jet and rocket-powered racing car. With a Eurofighter Typhoon jet engine and custom designed hybrid rocket, the car is so fast it will attempt the World Land Speed Record in South Africa later this year. A ground-breaking project, it has accumulated many high-profile sponsors, the latest Rolls-Royce, which employs nearly 1,000 people at nearby Barnoldswick, producing blades for some of its jet engines.

Mini Bloodhound, the miniature scale model of the iconic, blue and orange high speed car, was at Byrchall School in Wigan demonstrating its high-speed, record-breaking, boundary-pushing attributes. Byrchall School is one of the lucky schools to be involved in the project that is inspiring the next generation of Great British Engineers, Scientists and Mathematicians, girls and boys alike.

During the day, students heard from two of the Bloodhound team, including Bloodhound’s Materials, Process and Technologies Engineer Dan Johns. Mr Johns, who was 200 miles away at Bloodhound Headquarters in Bristol, addressed the children via a Skype internet call – a fitting approach for an award-winning engineer who has been at the forefront of ground-breaking work on the world’s largest civil aircraft, the Airbus A380. Mr Johns talked to students about the car’s design, build, and performance, and the scientific research that has gone into developing it. He also told students about the car’s amazing nose cone that is made of Titanium and produced using the latest 3D printing technology.

Students watched as mini Bloodhound raced along its own track in the school grounds. Had they of blinked, they would have missed it. The mini-car touched 0-60 mph in an eye-watering 1 second!

Professional Development Leader for Bloodhound, Ian Galloway, who set up the event at the school, said: “Students love this project because it demonstrates that Science and Engineering can be exciting and brings it to life for them. The students at Byrchall have shown a great deal of interest in learning about Bloodhound and I hope it will have a positive impact on their career choices, inspiring them to think about Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering as subjects they may wish to study in the future.”

Year-8 student, Emily Yau is hoping to study Engineering in the future. She said: “The project was really interesting and I enjoyed it. Mr Johns told us what inspired him to get involved in the project and what skills we would need if we want a career in this field.”

The North West region has a long association with engineering. High performance engineering businesses, such as BAE Systems and others, across Aeronautical, Defence and Automotive sectors, have a strong presence here.

Alan Birchall, Head Teacher at the Technology and Engineering focussed Secondary school, said: “We are always looking for opportunities for students to get involved in visionary projects that significantly contribute to the challenges of our evolving global community. We are very fortunate to be able to link up with a business such as Bloodhound and to get a project like this to our school. We are focused on nurturing interest in science and engineering at Byrchall and we hope that the boys and girls are inspired by what they saw today. These businesses rely heavily on a supply of world-beating engineers and scientists so it makes sense in everyway to start nurturing these skills and to inspire interest in Mathematics and Science which are now so important to the National Curriculum”.