Wigan rocket car’s first test

Bloodhound SSC
Bloodhound SSC

A WIGAN company involved in the making of the world’s fastest car was due to see it tested for the first time today.

Hampson Aerospace has helped with the construction of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car, which is hoped to break the land speed record next year.

This afternoon the car was expected to reach its next milestone when its rocket engine is put through its first paces.

It will fire from inside a hardened air shelter at Newquay airport, a process which will be streamed live on the internet.

Developments have been ongoing for four years now, with engineers visiting Hampson’s Marus Bridge base last year to hand over designs for their part of the constructions.

With aspirations of its reaching 1,000mph, it is thought the car could smash the record set by Andy Green in 1997.

It will be Green again who will take the wheel when the record is sought in South Africa.

BHW Components Ltd, a subsidiary of Hampson, which is based on the Wheatlea industrial estate, is manufacturing the structure which houses the two main propulsion systems; an EJ200 Eurofighter Jet engine and the unique Falcon hybrid rocket engine.

The chief engineer Mark Chapman (pictured), who visited Wigan last year, said any result from the first full testing of the car would be worthwhile.

“Pretty much anything we get out of Newquay today will be a success,” he said.

“It is unusual that (the public) are seeing a rocket very early in development.

“When you see this thing work or fail it will be the first time we see it work or fail. We’re very confident this will work.”

The Bloodhound is described as the largest rocket car of its kind to be designed in Europe and the biggest rocket test in the UK in 20 years.

There is a chance that the car could partly explode next week, but engineers say that is just part of the development test.