Bloodhound: the supersonic car auction that tried to exceed 1,600 km / h - BBC Mundo

houndCopyright of the image
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Bloodhound was scheduled to run in South Africa in 2019.

A car designed to operate at more than 1,600 km / h is at auction.

This means that the supersonic vehicle is on the market for the price of a Ferrari.

Bloodhound, built with a Rolls-Royce Eurofighter jet engine screwed to a rocket, it's almost over.

The team responsible for the project, developed in Bristol, UK, aimed at breaking the existing world land speed record of 1,228 km / h.

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But he was not able to get the money needed to reach him, which amounts to about $ 31 million.

As a result, the project will close, as announced by its current administrators this Friday, and the car has been put on sale at a price of about $ 318,000, said Bloodhound driver, Andy Green, to the BBC.

"I need a few million"

Bloodhound's plan was for the vehicle to reach record speed South Africa, where a 18 km and 1,500 m wide runway had already been set up Pan of Hakskeen (a desert plateau of salt and mud) in the north of the country.

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Bloodhound would use a group of three Nucleus engines in addition to the Eurofighter EJ200 jet.

"We'll need to find a few million for (the car) to go full speed," Green said Friday.

"We have practically completed the main structure, the desert is ready, we only need funding, "he said.

  • Why is it so difficult to travel in a straight line when driving at high speeds?

Green would like to "see the car run" and believes it is still possible to happen.

"If there's anyone there with $ 300,000, there's a car there's still a chance that Bloodhound will work," he said.

failure

The main structure of the vehicle had already been built and tested in 2017.

In a test carried out at Newquay airport, United Kingdom, hound reached a speed of 320 km / h.

But last October, the lack of investment led to the bankruptcy of the company that was funding the project.

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The Thrust SSC vehicle broke the sound barrier in 1997.

"Since then (we have) worked tirelessly with the directors finding a person or an organization able to carry on the project, "said Friday the joint administrator Andrew Sheridan, according to the PA press agency.

  • The long and complex process to manually produce the most powerful and fastest car on the planet

"Despite the overwhelming public support and commitment to a wide range of credible potential investors, it has not been possible to get a buyer for the business and the businesses," he said.

"We will now work with key stakeholders to return third-party equipment and then sell the remaining assets of the company to maximize returns for creditors," Sheridan added.

Why did Bloodhound fail?

Jonathan Amos, correspondent of CBBC News

Bloodhound is a private company. It is financed through donations, sponsorships and associations.

The company was able to take advantage of all three revenues, but in the end this funding model did not provide enough money to fully support such a complex venture.

The last two or three years have been particularly difficult to obtain financial support.

The investment landscape is difficult, partly because of the uncertainty of Brexit, but mainly because many big brands that previously put their name on a car now use other marketing tools, such as social networks .

The South African government had already cleared an area to try to reach the record and several missiles had already been successfully tested.

One of these, developed by the Norwegian aerospace and defense company Nammo, was launched in space for the first time at the end of September. The rocket core flew to an altitude of 107 km from the Andøya Space Center, in the north of Norway.

Bloodhound would use a group of three Nucleus engines in addition to the Eurofighter EJ200 jet.

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Getty Images

Image caption

As part of the tests, the vehicle had already operated at the Newquay airport in the United Kingdom in 2017.

Even if everything was ready, there was not enough money to get to the final goal

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The project was to be carried out in Hakskeen Pan by the end of 2019, when the water on the plateau had evaporated and the ground had dried up.

The Bloodhound would try to run at 800-965 km / h before trying to reach its top speed in 2020 or 2021.

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