Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ian Warhurst, managing director of the Barnsley engineering firm Melett, has bought the Bloodhound SSC programme, saving the 1,000mph land-speed record attempt from failure.
Earlier this month, Project Bloodhound collapsed. It entered into voluntary administration in October 2018 after it failed to attract new investors and, after two months of struggle, was set to enter dissolution in early December 2018.
Despite sponsorships from Rolls-Royce and Rolex, an additional £25 million was required to complete the project, which would have been used to push the jet-powered vehicle through its final stages of development.
Project Bloodhound was beginning the sale of its assets and the return of its third-party equipment when Ian Warhurst stepped in. With backing from the Ministry of Defence and Rolls-Royce, he purchased the company for an “undisclosed amount” and is set to outline his plans for the programme in the New Year.
Before its collapse, Project Bloodhound was aiming to break the current land-speed record of 763mph, set 20 years ago by Andy Green in the supersonic Thrust SSC. Early tests at Cornwall Airport saw the Bloodhound vehicle easily reach 200mph.
We’re now hoping that Ian Warhurst adheres to the Bloodhound Project’s previously set goals, performing trials at 500mph and 800mph over the coming months, before finally attempting its top speed of 1,000mph in either 2020 or 2021.
Future tests and top speed attempts for Project Bloodhound will take place on Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape of South Africa, where an 11-mile stretch of surface has been prepared.
Are you looking forward to Project Bloodhound’s 1,000mph record attempt? Let us know in the comments section below…