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  Southern Section diary

 
Bloodhound is the project to build the ultimate super car - one that has a projected top speed in excess of 1,000miles per hour. Not only will this break the sound barrier, it will break through many technological barriers too. Erica announced the guided tour of Bloodhound’s development centre, in Avonmouth, at the beginning of the year. Based on a requirement of 50 ticket sales to optimise cost against ticket price, the required sales target was soon exceeded.


With the temperature more akin to a February outing than 6 May, members came from all around the Southern and Western Sections, some even coming from as far as Portishead. With a good motorcycle-riding turnout and group photographs taken, we were ushered into the lecture theatre for an entertaining and informative presentation by Mark Elvin, Chief Engineer of the Project.
Gathering in anticipation
Mark opened his programme by explaining the Project’s 3 principle objectives:
Inspire the next generation about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Share an iconic research and development programme with a global audience.
Set a new World Land Speed Record of 1000mph
The material presented illustrated how these principles were to be met and went include a brief history of Land Speed Records, Bloodhound’s predecessors, Thrust and Thrust SSC, and were followed by an outline of some of the complex technical issues that needed to be addressed. Some of the questions from the audience related to the effects of shockwaves on the running surface and were met with the completely honest answer of, “We don’t fully understand yet.” which must be a daunting prospect for such an enormous undertaking.

Following the presentation, the group were given free access to look around the development workshops, taking in many of the elements seen on screen. Running with limited resources, Mark’s family had generously stepped in to man the refreshment table and merchandise stalls completing the picture, before we left, more fully informed, and eager to follow this exciting, British engineering project.
With the afternoon before us, Godfrey ‘volunteered’ to lead a ride back towards home with 6 of us in tow. Our twisty route took us under the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, through the centre of Bristol, the centre of Bath, before stopping for refreshment on the outskirts of Warminster. The group split off for various routes home after a very successful event.  Thanks go to Erica for organising this excellent day out.