An attempt to break the world land speed record has been delayed due to a lack of money, it has been revealed.
The project from Oxford, UK, called Bloodhound SSC (Super-Sonic Car), had hoped to perform runway tests in 2016, before trying to break the record in 2017 by traveling at 1,290 kilometers per hour (800 miles per hour). An attempt at 1,610 kph (1,000 mph) would be made at a future date.
But in a blog post, the company revealed it would be pushing back its efforts by a year, having already experienced delays. Now, the runway test will not take place until the second half of this year, with the record-breaking attempt coming next year.
“It is frustrating to change our schedule again – we know everyone is excited about seeing the car run,” said Project Director Richard Noble in the blog post. “We want that too but our pace of development has to be pegged to the flow of funding.”
The land speed record attempt will be taking place on the flats of Hakskeen Pan in South Africa, which flooded in January, complicating the efforts. When it does get up and running, the sleek vehicle will use its hybrid rocket engine to reach more than 1,000 mph in just 55 seconds.
The current land speed record is 1,224 km/h (760 mph), set by Andy Green – who will also be driving Bloodhound – in the ThrustSSC vehicle in Nevada in 1997. The Bloodhound SSC project then began in 2007, with the goal of not only beating this record, but breaking the 1,000 mph record. BBC News notes the total cost of the project will be around £60m.
While progress has been steady, there have been several delays to the project. The vehicle was unveiled to the public for the first time in September 2015, which IFLScience had the opportunity to go and see.
In the post, the company noted that while investors were continuing to come on board, there was a delay between interest being registered and the company actually getting money. “Anyone who runs their own business will be familiar with this and the need to be pragmatic when planning,” said Noble.
They might want to be fairly quick, too, as a rival US company – North American Eagle – is also hoping to break the land speed record in the coming years. It will not be able to rival Bloodhound’s final top speed, but it may just snag the world record before them.