It’s halfway there.
A jet and rocket-powered car designed to break 1,000 mph has hit 501 mph during its first shakedown tests on the Kalahari Desert’s Hakskeen Pan dry lake bed in South Africa this week.
The Bloodhound LSR was driven by land speed record holder Andy Green, who piloted the ThrustSSC to 763.035 mph in 1997 to become the first person to break the sound barrier in a car.
The Bloodhound LSR only used its Rolls-Royce jet engine during the test, which was meant to collect data to help further develop its aerodynamics and safety systems.
The British team is next aiming for 550 mph, but has been delayed by a faulty sensor that keeps setting off a fire alarm. It hopes to have the issue fixed and the car ready to go again in a few days.
If all goes well this season, the team could return as soon as next year to try to break Green’s record before going for the 1,000 mph mark.
It’s an amazing progression for the 11-year-old effort, which went bankrupt last year before being purchased and funded by auto parts entrepreneur Ian Wathurst.