Bloodhound SSC, a British team that’s planning on using a jet engine strapped to wheels to travel at 1,000mph, just hit an important milestone. The team hit 200mph during a first public test run on an airfield in south-west England. Getting a jet-powered car to travel safely at that speed is difficult — just ask Richard Hammond! — and the fact that it went off without a hitch is a testament to how far the project’s come.

The Bloodhound car is powered by a military jet engine, and ultimately should be capable of 1,000mph on a long course. For this test, it accelerated to 210mph in around 9 seconds on a 1.7-mile runway.

“The car and the team are ready to go much, much faster and start chasing supersonic world land speed records,” said Andy Green, a fighter pilot with the Royal Air Force and the car’s driver. “This car is easily capable of being the fastest car on earth.”

The team has pedigree: it’s led by Richard Noble, the man who set the land-speed record in 1983, and the director behind Thrust SSC, the car that currently holds the land-speed record of 763mph.

Bloodhound SSC uses a EJ200 Rolls-Royce engine, the same one that powers the Royal Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon. Additional solid-rocket boosters will be added to get the car to its projected top speed of 1,000mph.

 

Chris Mills has loved tinkering with technology ever since he worked out how to defeat the parental controls on his parents' internet. He's blogged his way through Apple events and SpaceX launches ever since, and still keeps a bizarre fondness for the Palm Pre.