The BLOODHOUND SSC project makes history with its first ever test runs, during which the supersonic combined jet engine and rocket powered car was set to achieve speeds of up to 200 mph on the runway at Newquay Airport in Cornwall. Air compressors and advanced air, electric and mechanical assembly and fastening tools from Atlas Copco have played an integral role throughout the development, assembly and test stages of the project that is aiming to break the current record of 763.035 mph and go 1000 mph. The event in Newquay is a huge step towards realising this goal.
The current holder of the world land speed record, wing commander Andy Green, will blast down the 1.7 mile runway witnessed by sponsors and the ticket holding public. “The runway trials at Newquay Airport will be the biggest milestone in the history of the project so far,” says Richard Noble, Bloodhound’s project director. “They will provide important data on the performance of the car, and give us a first opportunity to rehearse the procedures we’ll use when we attempt to break the world land speed record.”
The car being tested in Newquay will be a ‘minimum specification runway car’. It will not have the rocket system, airbrakes or brake parachutes fitted, as they are not essential for relatively slow speed runs.
To assist development, both the BLOODHOUND Project’s Technology Centre in Avonmouth and the Newquay test unit were equipped exclusively with Atlas Copco workshop compressors and assembly tools.
A GA15VSD+ FF full feature rotary screw compressor, together with filtration and a 5000-litre air receiver, was supplied to the Avonmouth facility by Atlas Copco Compressors with the principal role of ‘dry’ actuating the car’s EJ200 turbofan jet engine. In the live test runs, this duty will be undertaken by an on-site air start cart at Newquay; where the workshops also feature a GX5 fixed-speed compressor plus a 250-litre air receiver installed for general engineering duties.
During the demanding development and assembly operations of the project, both workshops have been supported with a range of advanced electric, battery and air powered tools, plus associated hosing and couplings, donated by sponsor Atlas Copco Tools. This equipment is being used primarily for vehicle build and test operations where fastening torque settings are critical. The calibrated high accuracy and quality assurance of the company’s battery powered ST wrenches in particular have been employed on the fastening of the vehicle’s wheel hubs and other significant components. In addition, air- powered LBB drills have been used extensively to provide rivet holes for the fuselage and stabilising fin assembly.
As Chris Dee, the project’s lead assembly and build engineer comments:
When the UK final tests are completed BLOODHOUND SSC will undergo several months of trials on the 12 miles long, 2 miles wide Hakskeen Pan track in South Africa. While there it will build up to achieve speeds to break the current land speed record of 763 mph (1227.98 km/h). Then eventually, the BLOODHOUND team will attempt to set a new record at 1000 mph (1609 km/h).
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Atlas Copco Compressors is the GB sales and service operation of the Atlas Copco Group providing oil-free and oil-injected stationary air compressors, gas and process compressors, vacuum pumps, turbo expanders, nitrogen generators, air treatment equipment (such as compressed air dryers, coolers, and filters) air management systems, and custom designed engineered packages.
Atlas Copco Compressors’ sales and distribution network means that specialist compressed air advice and service is always within easy reach. A team of over 80 service engineers operates across the country, to ensure maximum running efficiency and minimum downtime at its customers' sites.
In the United Kingdom, Atlas Copco also handles the sales and marketing of construction and mining equipment, portable compressors and electric power generators, industrial power tools and assembly systems – all backed up by a nationwide sales, distribution, service and maintenance network.
Atlas Copco’s Industrial Technique business area in the United Kingdom provides industrial power tools, assembly systems, quality assurance products, software and service through a global network. The business area innovates for sustainable productivity for customers in the automotive and aerospace industries, industrial manufacturing and maintenance, and in vehicle service. Principal product development and manufacturing units are located in Sweden, France and Japan.
Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and services focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2016, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 101 (BEUR 11) and about 45,000 employees.
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