LIVE: Bloodhound on scent of 1,000mph record is tested at Newquay
A rocket car that can potentially travel at more than 1,000 miles an hour is to be tested at Newquay airport.
Experts at the Bloodhound project plan to fire up the 1,050mph car's complete rocket system for the first time today, ahead of a world land speed record attempt.
The vehicle is powered by an 800bhp engine in the middle, a Typhoon jet fighter's engine at the rear and a Falcon rocket attached to the top.
News of the test should prove a huge boost for Newquay's new aviation industry Enterprise Zone, known as the Newquay Aero-hub.
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A spokesman for the airport said: "The event represents the most significant milestone yet in the development of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car. The team will also be launching its new website and The Science Behind The Speed – a coffee-table book telling the design story of the world's first 1,000mph car."
Jules Tipler, Bloodhound's spokesman, said project chiefs had looked at a range of possible testing sites across the UK.
He said the car would be on wheels by around Christmas and there were plans for tests at various locations.
Once built, it is hoped the Bloodhound car will top 1,000mph on a specifically chosen surface in South Africa, trouncing the current world land speed record of 763mph.
Mr Tipler said: "We intend to do about 12 months of runway tests; then we'll go to South Africa in 2014, where we have a dried-out lake bed to carry out the high-speed tests.
"We'll go up from 300mph to 400, then 500 and so on. Our goal is to try and make 1,000mph.
"We're pretty confident – we have some very clever engineers on the project – although nothing like this has ever been done before. It's a huge challenge."
The Bloodhound project is funded through public and corporate sponsorship. It is aimed at encouraging young people to take an interest in science and technology.