Why did we visit the BLOODHOUND Factory?
We’re a Product Sponsor of what is set to be the World’s Fastest Car. The BLOODHOUND SSC is currently under-construction at a factory in Avonmouth, Bristol and on 4th March 2015, we were lucky enough to be able to go along and see BLOODHOUND SSC in all its glory at the BLOODHOUND factory.
There will be a “slow run” of the car this year, where it will be driven at a speed of 800 mph. In 2016, BLOODHOUND engineers hope the car will be able to reach speeds of 1000 mph – beating not only the Land Speed Record, but also the current official record for speed at low altitude!
Rich Hudson and Rob Walker visited the factory and came back with news and facts about the car and how ReAgent’s products are being used on it.
The construction and testing of BLOODHOUND SSC
When we arrived at the BLOODHOUND factory, we were greeted by Kim Watts, Sponsor Liaison. Amazingly, we were able to walk freely around the workshop and watch people in action working on a record-breaking car.
The BLOODHOUND SSC was sitting there right in front of us. It was open as people were doing work on it and you could see the cables inside, ready for the engines to be put in. The front part of the car where the cockpit goes was still waiting to be painted, so for now was raw carbon fibre.
A team of guys from the RAF were at the factory building a tail fin. The frame had already been built and the team were using sheet metal to panel it.
On the day we visited, those working on the car were planning on testing how the rocket fitted into the back part of the vehicle. Next to the car was a typhoon jet engine ready to be positioned inside, as well as another engine donated by Jaguar which would be used to pump the oxidising fuel into the rocket.
BLOODHOUND staff explained to us that they test the Jaguar engine using the deionised water supplied by ReAgent. They can’t use fuel as it’s so volatile – so instead they use our high-quality water that won’t corrode parts of the engine.
Edward Fletcher, a Rocket Scientist at BLOODHOUND, showed us their portable fume cupboard and we were able to see samples of cabling that would be going inside the car. Edward had been testing these with hydrogen peroxide to see if they would get damaged by the chemical while the car was running.
Cleanroom and “Supacats”
The BLOODHOUND factory was a hive of activity – it was full of people working and there was constantly so much going on. We noticed how clean it was, and the running of the factory gave an insight to the sheer scale of the challenge the BLOODHOUND team are undertaking.
We noticed they had an inflatable cleanroom, which looked like a large, clear plastic bubble. This is where they do the passivation of materials, as this can only be done in a particular environment. Some of the chemicals we provide the project are used in the inflatable cleanroom.
One other thing that caught our eye was the “Supacat” truck at the factory. This is a fire truck that’s on-hand in case anything was to go wrong. In such circumstances, a faster car would drive to the area and the Supacats would then follow with a larger supply of water to tackle the issue.
Thanks to BLOODHOUND for showing us around
We’d like to say a huge thank you to the team at BLOODHOUND for greeting us and showing us around – particularly to Kim Watts, Edward Fletcher and Jamie Reed who answered our questions on camera.
Everyone was very accommodating and happy to show us around. Both Rich and Rob were amazed at everything they saw and learned about – probably something that happens to everyone that goes to visit!
It was so exciting to be able to go and see a car that will break a world record and we felt privileged to get to talk to the people making it.
“I think that this might be the coolest day that I’ve ever had in work […] It’s a really exciting day and a really good project to be involved with. We’re going to speak to some of the guys that are involved in this project and talk to them about how they use our products.”
– Rich Hudson, Managing Director at ReAgent
We took a lot of video footage and conducted interviews with Ed Fletcher and other key people working on BLOODHOUND, so have lots more exciting information to share with you about the Project.
Check back on the blog regularly to see the video interviews and find out what it’s like to work on a record-breaking car.