What do you get if you cross a rocket with a Formula 1 engine and sprinkle some nuclear cruise missile magic on top? This. It's the Bloodhound Supersonic Car, an engineering masterpiece that is hoping to become the fastest land vehicle in the world.
Photographer Stefan Marjoram is the lucky duck charged with taking photos of the project, and there are some awesome ones here in this gallery where you can see the craft and engineering nous that will hopefully make the Bloodhound SSC streak along the ground like a cheetah on steroids. The vehicle will attempt to hit speeds of 1,000 mph on a South African plain sometime next year.
If the Bloodhound, which started life as a project to get kinds interested in engineering, were fired up into the air, it would reach a height of 25,000 feet. That's because its 12-foot-long 18-inch diameter rocket engine is powered by an F1 Cosworth V8 engine, which drives a pump which sprays a liquid oxydizer onto solid fuel. The force created is 50,000 G, the rocket will scream at around 180 decibels, and the temperature inside the rocket will reach around 3,000 °C . And if you're wondering where the nuclear missile technology is, that's in the pump.
It's worth watching the Bloodhound's driver — or should that be pilot? — Andy Green take you on a tour round the car and hear him explain how the carbon-fiber monocoque and aluminium frame and wheels have been created.