A man who will pilot the car bidding to reach 1,000mph has said his team has the confidence their mission will be a success.
Andy Green, who grew up in Hartlepool, aims to help steer what is hoped to be a world first into the record books later this year.
The Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) is a project which brings together more than eight years of research, design and manufacturing and the support of more than 350 companies and universities.
It also draws on the expertise of a Formula 1 team and aerospace experts with help from the Army’s Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and RAF technicians, who built the tail fin.
The project aims to hit its target in South Africa before a crowd of thousands.
Andy, who went to High Tunstall School, has already hit 763mph in the Thrust supersonic car at Black Rock Desert in Nevada, US, in 1997.
He said: “From a personal point of view, I’m feeling ever more confident about how all the different technologies will work together in the world’s first 1,000mph car.
“We’ve also got plenty of technical evidence to support this feeling.
“Our various test programmes have delivered some great results over the past 12 months, giving us all the confidence that we can do this, and do it safely.”
The group has been working on fitting the engine inside the car.
Andy, writing in his regular blog, added: “As ever, there are still a lot of technical challenges to overcome - that’s what an engineering adventure is all about - and, of course, there’s the ever-present challenge of funding our hugely ambitious attempt to inspire a generation with the magic of technology. “But after an amazing 12 months, we’re getting there.
“Looking back, I’m struggling to point to a single highlight for 2015, as there were so many exciting moments.
“Perhaps one of our big achievements was the completion of the chassis, making the car look nearly ‘finished’ for the first time.
“It seems a very long time ago that we were examining the upper chassis, after adding 11,500 rivets and then heating to 175 degrees celsius in an autoclave, cooking it in a big oven, to set the bonding agent.”
To handle its immense speed, the car has three separate braking systems, seven fire extinguishers and 500 sensors.
One of the main aims of the project has also been to inspire the country’s next generation of engineers.
Andy’s blog can be read via: www.bloodhoundssc.com/andygreen