Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Bloodhound lives to run another day

I wasn’t really worried, well, not much.

A 1,000mph race car project has been saved after an entrepreneur stepped in to buy the business.

The Bloodhound supersonic vehicle – built with a jet engine bolted to a rocket – is all but finished.

Its future was in jeopardy amid a failure to secure investment which forced the firm financing it into administration.

But Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ian Warhurst has bought the project for an “undisclosed amount”.

Mr Warhurst, the managing director of Barnsley engineering firm Melett, said it would have been “criminal” not to continue with the record attempt.

“There’s a bit more sorting of the car to do, but nothing major, to get to that first step of testing it at high speed,” he said.

“That’s what made it such a shame, because they had got as far as they had. It just had to carry on.”

Bloodhound supersonic car project saved

Thank goodness there was someone willing to step in and keep the project alive.

It will be interesting to see if he can take it forward on his own, or begins with fund-raising to see the project financed/sponsored to its final record attempt.

One thing I learned due to the nature of the business I was involved in was that there can be a vast difference between ‘Cost of Purchase’ and ‘Cost of Ownership’.

The latter can be much higher if there are significant running and maintenance costs involved, sometime dwarfing the initial cost, which can be trivial compared to owning and running some ventures.

Now I can start worrying again – about the aerodynamics and shock wave interactions with the ground at the target speed, and whether or not the car will stay stable.

The history of supersonic flight was lined with unexpected disasters and strange effects that led to many losses as the speed was increased.

I hope there is enough information from that era (plus the much further advanced and developed computer modelling we have today) to make this effort work first time.

Bloodhound

Bloodhound

18/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , | Leave a comment

I expected delays, not a complete brick wall for Bloodhound

Over the years I watched the progress of Bloodhound (it does actually have Scottish bits), and been both impressed, and amazed, as it managed to go from expensive step to expensive step, thanks to it ability to attract both backing and volunteers.

Having overcome so many hurdles over the years, I would probably have bet that even if it struggled, it would have made it to the end.

Seems that bet would have been lost.

The main structure of the vehicle has been built already with “shakedown” tests a year ago working to plan.

But failure to secure the investment forced the firm financing the project into administration.

“Since [then] we have worked tirelessly with the directors to identify a suitable individual or organisation who could take the project forward,” joint administrator Andrew Sheridan said.

“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.”

Mr Sheridan added: “We will now work with key stakeholders to return the third-party equipment and then sell the remaining assets of the company to maximise the return for creditors.”

Bloodhound supersonic car project axed

It’s brought together so many diverse scientific and engineering demands, apparently bringing a range of problems which have all been solved, in theory at least, and only needed the final chapter to be completed, by actually getting to the test run.

I’m still hopeful that this may happen.

With all the costly R&D done, and only (simple word ‘only’) the final phase to be completed, there are plenty of people who could drop some loose change they wouldn’t even notice, and easily find the project’s completion.

Pity it’s a British project, a certain fruity US company rolling in money taken from silly people could fund it without even noticing.

But they’d also set it back years, since their board’s first order would be to dump all the existing computers!

Bloodhound

Bloodhound

 

07/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , | Leave a comment

   

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