Exciting British engineering projects
I would like to start by explaining about two very exciting British engineering projects that are taking place.
The Bloodhound land speed record attempt
During the summer of 2015 Richard Noble’s Bloodhound team will attempt to break the land speed record by beating the record set by his own team in 1997. The car, during that time, was the first in the world to break the sound barrier, reaching a speed of 763.035mph. That means that if the car, called Thrust SSC, had a race against someone shouting the word ‘GO’, the car would reach the finishing line before the sound of GO would reach it. OK that’s assuming someone could speak loud enough to be heard and the car will have to be at full speed before the race begins, but you get the idea. That was an incredible British achievement but Richard Noble’s new team wants to beat even that. The Bloodhound team is planning on creating a car that would reach speeds in access of 1000mph! Not even fighter jet aeroplanes can do that when flying at low altitude. These aeroplanes can of course go much faster when flying at high altitude because the air is much thinner up there. This is because at higher altitudes the air resistance is much less for a given speed, enabling the aircraft to go faster. The engineering needed to make this car achieve that speed, whilst running on wheels remember, is astounding. The car will be more powerful than the QE2 but the run will not be harmful to the environment. The carbon footprint of the land speed record attempt will be the same as that of 4.1 cows apparently!
The reason why Richard Noble wants to do this is to inspire the next generation of engineers in this country. Good on him! The bloodhound website will explain in more detail about the project. Follow the link below which will take you to their website.
The next generation spacecraft – Skylon
The next thing I would like to discuss is about space travel. A question; which country is developing the most advance space vehicle in the world? Is it America, with its 50 years of experience, or Russia, from its own space programme? Perhaps it is China, a country that is getting stronger and stronger? No, it’s none of these. It is in fact England! A small company in Oxfordshire called Reaction Engines is developing a revolutionary engine that would take an aircraft into space. The space vehicle, called Skylon, would be completely reusable and would be able to take off and land in the same way as a conventional aeroplane. It would reduce the cost of launching satellites and new space projects considerably.
The same engine is also considered to be used in a conventional passenger aeroplane, called LAPCAT, propelling it to a speed of Mach 5. That is 5 times the speed of sound, more than double the speed of even Concorde. A journey from Britain to Japan, for instance, takes about 11 hours with current jet passenger aeroplanes. With LAPCAT the same journey would take around 2 hours! This is another example of British engineering at its best. A link to their website is shown below:
From the country that invented the jet engine, not to mention the first jet passenger aeroplane, it is truly wonderful that British engineers are still leading the way. As an Englishman, I am very proud of these amazing and exciting British engineering projects.