Hartlepool pilot Andy set to take world record-chasing car for its first spin

Bloodhound Project driver Andy Green inside the cockpit of the vehicle.
Bloodhound Project driver Andy Green inside the cockpit of the vehicle.

Hartlepool rocket man Andy Green is getting ready to hit the road.

Andy, a Wing commander with the RAF, is set to pilot the Bloodhound SSC, the world’s most advanced straight line racing car, as it takes to the tarmac for the first time, 20 years after he set the land speed record.

Andy Green shows former Prime Minister David Cameron around the Bloodhound on a visit to downing Street in 2013.

Andy Green shows former Prime Minister David Cameron around the Bloodhound on a visit to downing Street in 2013.

He steered Thrust SSC to the 763.035mph record on October 15, 1997, and will be at the wheel of Bloodhound as it is put through its paces this autumn.

Runway trials will mark the culmination of a month of tests to prove the car’s steering, brakes, suspension, data systems, and so on, as well as the EJ200 jet engine before a record bid date is set.

Thousands of visitors are expected to see history being made as the car is driven at up to 200mph on the 1.7mile runway.

Before it moves under its own power, Bloodhound will undergo several days of static tests. The engine will be run up, with the car chained to the ground, so its systems can be checked. All being well, dynamic testing will then follow on.

The runway trials will provide important data on the performance of the car and give us a first opportunity to rehearse the procedures we’ll use when we go record breaking.

Richard Noble

The trials will be Andy’s first opportunity to drive the car and experience the steering, throttle and brake action, noise and vibration.

Project director Richard Noble said: “The runway trials will provide important data on the performance of the car and give us a first opportunity to rehearse the procedures we’ll use when we go record breaking.”

Writing in his diary on the project website, Andy explained the importance of the test: “The problem is that we can’t really put Bloodhound into a wind tunnel,” he said.

“Supersonic wind tunnels are extremely expensive. Worse still (and here’s the real problem), there is no way to make the ground beneath the Car rush past at up to 1000 mph, so we can’t properly reproduce the flow underneath a supersonic car.”