It is rocket science for Britain’s future engineers at Cosworth

Forty school children learned about the science behind what might be the world’s fastest car, the BLOODHOUND SSC, at Cosworth Group headquarters in Northampton today.

The Key Stage 2 children also tested their nerve in the BLOODHOUND Driving Experience, which demonstrated what it would be like to drive the car when it reaches speeds of more than 1000 miles per hour at Hakskeen Pan, South Africa.

Cosworth Group is providing the rocket control system which will manage the ignition, fuel supply and shutdown of BLOODHOUND SSC’s custom-designed hybrid rocket. This will be used in conjunction with an EJ200 jet engine to deliver 47,000lbs of thrust, equivalent to 135,000hp.

Cosworth Group’s data electronics, which are used in a wide range of highly demanding applications from aerobatics planes and racing cars to wind turbines and sailing boats, will be incorporated into BLOODHOUND SSC to gather data that will help control the car and understand its performance.

Cosworth Group is also supplying the auxiliary power unit for BLOODHOUND in the shape of its latest V8 Formula One engine, which is this year designated CA2011, and which proved to be among the most reliable engine units in the sport throughout 2010. This 95kg, 750+bhp unit will provide not only essential hydraulic services to the car but will also drive the rocket oxidizer pump which will supply 800 liters of High Test Peroxide (HTP) to the rocket in just 20 seconds – equivalent to 75 pints every second.

The children who attended the event today – including Izzy Duckworth, granddaughter of Cosworth founder Keith Duckworth – met BLOODHOUND SSC driver and current Land Speed Record holder, Wing Commander Andy Green.

Cosworth Chief Executive Officer Tim Routsis said generating a buzz around engineering in younger generations was the company’s way of contributing to Britain’s future in the industry. “As these children grow older and start to consider their career options, we want them to see what a career in engineering can offer," he said. “Britain has produced some of the world’s best engineers and we believe educating children about the industry is the best way to ensure this continues into the future. They have young, inquisitive minds and they want to know how things work. BLOODHOUND is such an exciting project, it creates the perfect opportunity to engage them with the sector."

BLOODHOUND Project Director Richard Noble said: “We’re very clear that the primary objective of the BLOODHOUND Project is to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in science and engineering. Why? Because we need more innovators and technologists, not just to rebalance the economy or boost the UK’s manufacturing sector, but to address the really big problems coming our way, from producing cleaner energy to feeding a growing world population. Engineers have to be at the heart of it. What we’ve embarked on with BLOODHOUND is a little like a horizontal moon-shot in terms of the incredible technological challenge and lack of precedent. After all, we’re going to be travelling faster than a bullet – no one has ever attempted anything like this before! And because BLOODHOUND SSC is a unique prototype, we can share all the data in a way that NASA or a Formula One team can’t. By showing how science and engineering really work, in the most exciting context possible, we hope to fire the imaginations of young and old alike."

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