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Bloodhound 'Rocket Car' To Be Tested In Cornwall

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Engineers will spend Wednesday morning putting the finishing touches in place before a landmark test of Europe's largest hybrid rocket car in Cornwall.

The test on Wednesday in a large hangar will be a milestone in the quest to break the land speed record. Those behind the Bloodhound Supersonic Car hope it will eventually reach four-figure speeds.

The Bloodhound will be put through its paces at Newquay Cornwall Airport in front of an audience of 400 people, streamed live online via www.bloodhoundssc.com/rocket.

It is described as the largest rocket car of its kind to be designed in Europe, and the biggest rocket test in the UK in 20 years.

Bloodhound's engineers will be testing the complete rocket system for the first time on Wednesday. The full team including project director Richard Noble, driver Andy Green and the engineering team will be present. A full-sized replica of Bloodhound and its jet engine will be on display.

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Chief engineer Mark Chapman said any result from the first full testing of the car would be worthwhile.

"Pretty much anything we get out of Newquay will be a success," he said. "It is unusual that (the public) are seeing a rocket very early in development. When you see this thing work or fail it will be the first time we see it work or fail.

"We're very confident this will work. The worst thing that could happen is nothing could happen but that also lets us know what else has failed."

Chapman said the car, powered by a jet engine and a rocket, could partly explode but that was all part of the development test. It will attempt a record-breaking speed of 1,000mph by 2014.

The pencil-shaped car is 12ft (4m) long, 18in (45.7cm) in diameter and weighs 992lb (450kg). In its ultimate form, it is expected to generate the combined output of 95 Formula 1 cars.

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