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Advanced Composites Group joins The Bloodhound SSC land speed record team

News International-French

31 Jan 2011


Composite materials, tooling, and the design and component manufacturing capability of Advanced Composites Group Ltd. (ACG), part of Umeco Composites Structural Materials (UCSM) - a Division of Umeco plc, are being provided to The Bloodhound Project, an international education initiative focussed around a 1000mph land speed record attempt.

With a 30-year pedigree, acquired in the demanding and fast moving markets of Formula One, racing yachts and aerospace, ACG is ideally positioned to deliver the performance materials and the design and manufacturing expertise required to help the Bloodhound SSC (Supersonic car) team realise its dream of breaking the 1,000mph barrier, inspiring future generations of engineers and scientists.

ACG has experience in taking composites technology into new and challenging environments, including the Southern Ocean and Space, and this depth of expertise was a key factor in the selection of ACG as Bloodhound’s composites design and manufacturing partner.

Using ACG’s high performance prepreg materials, Advanced Composites Engineering (ACE), the Group’s engineering division, will manufacture the entire front section of the car, constructing the master models and tooling from which critical elements of the car’s bodywork and structural components, such as the monocoque and nose, will be produced. ACE will also manufacture the air intake and rear wheel fairings, areas which are vital to the aerodynamic performance and stability of the car.

Mark Chapman, Chief Engineer for The Bloodhound Project said, ‘It was clear very early on that we could build a strong and creative partnership with the ACG team. We valued their input from the start when they helped us optimise our designs to make best use of ACG’s composites capabilities. We’re looking forward to working with them closely in the coming months as we move beyond the design phase and actually build Bloodhound – the world’s ultimate racing car.”

The plan may be for Bloodhound SSC to travel faster than a bullet, but speed is not the car’s only raison d’etre. On the contrary, the car is the focal point of an education programme which it is hoped will inspire a generation of young people to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM subjects), show-casing these disciplines in the most exciting way possible.

The car is designed not just to break the world land speed record of 763.035mph (measured over a mile), set by Andy Green in ThrustSSC on October 15, 1997 in the Black Rock Desert, USA, but to obliterate it! Green, a Royal Air Force fighter pilot by day, will be at the wheel of Bloodhound SSC in 2012 when the team starts its programme of high speed runs on the Hakskeen Pan, Northern Cape, South Africa.

All the Bloodhound design and operational data will be made available live on the web as the project develops, thus enabling tomorrow's scientists and engineers to follow the Project’s progress in real time.

Nearly 5000 UK schools in the UK have already signed up to use Bloodhound curriculum-ready resources to bring their science and maths lessons to life. This number is expected to grow dramatically once the car has been built. In addition, six million teachers world-wide will have access to the Project via Intel’s ‘Skools’ initiative.

The Bloodhound Project is billed as an ‘engineering adventure’ and the physical and technical challenges inherent in trying to reach 1000mph mean it is more akin to a moon shot than a typical race car programme. ACG draws on three decades of experience of competing – and winning – in the most difficult conditions. That’s why ACG relishes the challenge of working with the Bloodhound team to reach 1000mph, creating an inspiring, enduring legacy.

Source : ACG