THE countdown has begun for a supersonic car aiming set a new land speed world record with a successful test in the South African desert.
The Bloodhound car will be piloted by former RAF pilot and Hartlepool resident Andy Green.
A 12-month countdown to its first record attempt has started after a high-speed communications test at Hakskeen Pan, South Africa.
In the test, two hi-spec Jaguar cars driving at around 500mph carried the same equipment that the Bloodhound will carry to broadcast its 1,000mph record attempt next year.
Data from over 300 sensors, plus three live video streams will be transmitted live via a jet flying overhead as the rocket powered vehicle blasted down the desert racetrack.
The Bloodhound team said: “Today’s activity confirmed that the project’s entire radio infrastructure is now in place, ready for 2015 and the beginning of Bloodhound’s high-speed campaign.
“It was also testament to the outstanding support and expertise of Bloodhound’s partners in South Africa and the UK.
“Today’s communications test saw Bloodhound take an important step towards fulfilling its ultimate goal – to inspire a generation about science, technology and engineering by sharing a unique engineering adventure.”
Andy, who grew up in town when his dad Tony, a chief Hartlepool fire officer, already holds the current land speed world record of 763mph.
It was set in 1997 in America’s Nevada desert in the Thrust supersonic car.
Many of the engineers behind the Thrust car are now working on the Bloodhound.
Andy, who attended High Tunstall secondary school in the 1970s and lived in Stanhope Avenue, was brought onto the project as a consultant around six years ago.
He previously said of his involvement with the project: “I have got the best day job in the world with the RAF and the best holiday job working for a group of world class engineers, designing the most innovative technology to do something no group of people have ever achieved on land.”