18 Mar Andy Green meets students to discuss Bloodhound SSC and the engineering of land speed records (video)
Why build a car that will go supersonic and reach speeds of 1000 mph?
That was the question posed to NCS students during British Science Week by the current land speed record holder Andy Green. Having set the record of 763 mph in 1997 with a car called Thrust SSC, Andy is now leading a team alongside Richard Noble that will push technology and speeds to the limit and hopefully inspire young people into the world of engineering along the way.
This new car is called Bloodhound SSC.
“The aim of Bloodhound is to create the ultimate record going as fast as current technology will allow us to go…To create new science, to push back the boundaries and to try and bring the science and technology of cars to life in a really exciting way.”
Over a 35 minute talk our students were lucky enough to hear first-hand the challenges that such a project undertakes. From designing ways to test the components, to the requirements of building custom alloy wheels that can handle the loads and speeds all the way through to how you find and prepare a perfect 12 mile race track. It was an insightful and eye opening presentation that displayed much of what’s been taught throughout A Levels at The NCS being applied and practiced in the real world. As Andy pointed out to students, all the data from their attempts will be broadcast live online giving anyone (including you) the opportunity to make use of the numbers/statistics.
“We’re going to take live video and data from the car and transmit it onto the internet. So wherever you are in the world you will be able to watch the car run and you will be able to look at the data. Interestingly, because we’ll be busy running the car, you get to analyse the data even before our engineering team… This is an engineering experiment that everybody can take part in.”
Following the talk Andy answered questions from our students for just over half an hour on all aspects of the project and his career as a pilot in the RAF. Having designed and run balloon cars the previous day our students were very aware of the difficulty in making a vehicle move so were armed with many questions to test Andy’s knowledge on the subject.
“This is not just about building a car. This is about telling a story. This is about bringing the science and technology to life.”
Many students got the opportunity to talk with Andy afterwards one to one and left enthused about the potential of studying engineering as well as looking into entering the Bloodhound model car competition.
Everyone at The NCS would like to thank Andy Green for giving his time to visit and speak to our students at length on such an exciting project that covers all areas of science and maths. We all wish Andy the best of luck with the Bloodhound land speed record attempt and look forward to being involved as a school in the engineering challenges that form part of the wider project.
Video - watch the full lecture
The Student View
``The talk, very articulately delivered, was richly informative and fact oriented and this would appeal strongly not just for physicists but science and mathematics students in general. It carried the uncommon characteristic of enthusing the audience, perhaps even prompting certain students to contemplate engineering as a career prospect had they been aspiring otherwise.`` - Raja
``An insightful talk by an entertaining speaker. Andy really managed to portray complex engineering concepts and made them very understandable and intriguing. It was very helpful in terms of getting to know the great capabilities of engineers and it gave myself a great insight into what my potential engineering career could be like.`` - Shaheer
``This great lecture by Andy Green was really showing the wow factor of science, and in particular engineering, showing us students that mind blowing things like travelling faster than the speed of sound is possible with the use of science. The interesting lecture gave us an insight into how the car was actually built, such as how it's 3 engines provide it the thrust needed to cover a mile in just 3.6 seconds. I hope it further inspires many people to pursue science so they too can be on the frontline of development in the 21st Century.`` - Subatheena
``Andy Green has accomplished a great many things in his life, and so it was a privilege to be able to listen to his talk. All in all, it was very informative, and I especially liked how he was willing to go into detail about the science behind the car, making sure to translate the complex concepts into simpler terms suitable for AS students! It was certainly an inspiration, as well as an eye-opener to the STEM labour shortage, which I hope has led to more people thinking about engineering as a potential career pathway for them.`` - Tafsia