The land-speed record has been in British hands since 1983, but it's never been the motherland's habit to rest on its laurels. Yesterday, in a bomb-proof shelter in Cornwall, the team behind the Bloodhound SSC test-fired its rocket system for the first time, producing a staggering 14,000 pounds of thrust thanks to its liquid peroxide and solid synthetic rubber hybrid engine. Pumping that mix through the V8 of a Formula One car, the team hopes to reach a top seed of 1,050 mph (Mach 1.4), well beyond the 763 mph achieved by ThrustSSD back in 1997. After the break, we've got a short clip of the firing as it happened, which, frankly, makes the Batmobile's flaming jet engine look a little bit mediocre by comparison.
Bloodhound SuperSonic Car test-fires its engines, roasts the lab wall (video)
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