A supersonic car that will try to set a new land speed record and will be piloted by a former Hartlepool man has gone on display to the public for the first time.
The Bloodhound SSC (supersonic car) is the centre-piece of a new exhibition in London’s Canary Wharf.
And as befitting a car that aims to set a new land speed world record of 1,000mph, tickets for the exhibition have been booked out within days of it being announced.
Eight thousand people will go to see the land speed racer, which uses jet and rockets, making the Bloodhound nine times more powerful than nine Formula 1 cars.
Behind the wheel for the record attempt in South Africa next year will be 52-year-old Andy Green, who grew up in Hartlepool.
He already holds the record, having hit 763mph in Thrust supersonic car at Black Rock Desert in Nevada, USA, in 1997.
Public interest in the project is incredibleProject director Richard Noble
Bloodhound project director Richard Noble said: “Public interest in the project is incredible and thanks to the generous support of our partners we are delighted to able to bring Bloodhound SSC to London and put it on show.
“With the car now built and the track in South Africa prepared our focus is on racing in 2016. That part of the adventure starts with runway tests at Newquay Aerohub next Easter.”
The car is the result of eight years of research, design and manufacturing, involving over 350 companies and universities.
It has been created by a team of Formula 1 and aerospace experts with help from the Army’s Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and RAF technicians who built the tail fin.
Andy, who went to High Tunstall School in the 1970s and lived in Stanhope Avenue, designed the Bloodhound’s sophisticated dashboard.
Visitors to the show will also be able to look inside the finished cockpit.
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.
Over 100,000 school children have learned about Bloodhound in lessons and attending special events.