Project Bloodhound’s mostly finished supersonic vehicle — built with a jet engine bolted to a rocket in an attempt to break the world land speed record — is up for sale after attempts to find financing for the project failed. And the car itself is available for the cost of only around $318,000.
Bloodhound Programme Ltd, the company behind the initiative to break the land speed record, entered into administration in October to try and save the project, meant to “hit speeds of 1000mph at a specially built, 18km long, 1500m wide racetrack at Hakskeen Pan in the deserts of the Northern Cape of South Africa,” as well as serve as a focal point for STEM education in the United Kingdom, the project’s website states.
Planned test runs above 500mph were supposed to take place in late 2018 before trying to break the world land speed record in late 2019. The team tried to find around $33 million in funding to complete the project.
“You’re going to need to find a few million to get it running to full speed,” driver Andy Green told the BBC. “We have basically completed the main structure, the desert is ready; we just need the funding.”
Project Bloodhound was founded in 2007 and has operated on a private partnership and sponsorship model, with support from a variety of partners including Rolls Royce and Rolex. The UK Ministry of Defence lent prototype jet engines for the car, and the Northern Cape Provincial Government in South Africa supported the creation of the Hakskeen Pan track. Individual donations from members of the public have also supported the development of the car and the global education program.
This 2017 video details the EJ200 Typhoon jet engine’s nozzle:
Up to this point, the car has been tested to speeds up to 200mph, but the project team said the test also helped to develop and test propulsion, aerodynamic and telecommunications technologies with the potential for applications outside of the project.
“Since [entering administration in October] we have worked tirelessly with the directors to identify a suitable individual or organization who could take the project forward,” joint administrator Andrew Sheridan told the BBC.
“Despite overwhelming public support, and engagement with a wide range of potential and credible investors, it has not been possible to secure a purchaser for the business and assets.
“We will now work with key stakeholders to return the third-party equipment and then sell the remaining assets of the company to maximize the return for creditors.”