Bloodhound SSC’s 1,000mph land-speed record attempt saved

A private investor has bought the Bloodhound SSC programme, following its recent financial collapse

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.

Late last year, 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.

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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 over the coming months.

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.

Warhurst commented: “since buying Bloodhound from the administrators last December, the team and I have been overwhelmed by the passion and enthusiasm the public have shown for the project. Over the last decade, an incredible amount of hard graft has been invested in the project and it would be a tragedy to see it go to waste.

“Starting with a clean slate, it’s my ambition to let Bloodhound off the leash see just how fast this car can go. I’ve been reviewing the project and I’m confident there is a commercial business proposition to support it. I’ll provide robust financing to ensure there is cashflow to hit the high-speed testing deadlines we set ourselves.”

Warhurst’s ‘clean slate’ plans have already taken effect. The project has been relocated to a new facility in Gloucestershire, has entered a partnership with Berkley Green University Technical College and now sports a fresh red and white livery, with new sponsorship opportunities. 

We’re hoping that Ian Warhurst adheres to the Bloodhound Project’s previously set goals, performing trials at 500mph and 800mph over the next year, before finally attempting its top speed of 1,000mph in either 2020 or 2021.

Are you looking forward to Project Bloodhound’s 1,000mph record attempt? Let us know in the comments section below…

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