Innovators  

Jetblack jetpack for World Land Speed record attempt

The group behind New Zealand's attempt to beat the World Land Speed record, has unveiled a new aerodynamic design and a hybrid rocket propulsion system
 Less complex & less drag, with greater controllability  Jetblack's new design with added rocket power  The rear-mounted twin hybrid rocket motors
 
 

Jetblack’s newest design dispenses with the previous combined jet engine and rocket propulsion system, replacing it was two hybrid rocket motors. The 1000,mph hybrid rockets can produce far greater thrust, 35,000lbs x2 as opposed to 20,000lbs x2, and are of the same type as those chosen to power Virgin Galactic’s passenger spacecraft.

Richard Nowland, Jetblack’s Managing Director & Founder stated:

“The work the group’s design team has undertaken over the past 12 months has resulted in a car that is less complex, produces considerably less drag, has greater controllability and the potential to achieve the target speed more quickly. In all, this is a significant advance over its predecessor.

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Nowland went on to state the two main points of difference with the new design:

“The first is the move to solely rocket propulsion using two hybrid rocket motors currently under development with our propulsion partners, Space Propulsion Group, CA, USA. We established the relationship with SPG, who is a world leader in hybrid rocket propulsion, back in 2011.”

“A further benefit of having a solely rocket powered design is that we have been able to lose the complexity of having control systems for each engine type. We now have a far simpler and safer vehicle using Nytrox, which is the oxidiser for the rocket motors. Nytrox is a proprietary formulation from SPG and contributes appreciably to the high performance of the rocket motors; the system is pressure fed and requires no pumps.”

The Jetblack team plant to identify a suitable high-speed testing venue within the next 12 months and begin vehicle construction next year. Initial low speed testing is due to commence in 2014, progressing to high speed testing and the actual challenge in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

The current World Land Speed record stands at 763mph, set by Great Britain’s Thrust SSC in October 1997 at Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA

Richard Roake, Jetblack’s lead aerodynamicist commented:

“The new Challenger’s design minimises drag. It produces approximately one-third less drag than earlier versions, enabling the car to accelerate to the required speed faster. The new design is also shorter by almost three meters so it has less surface area, which has contributed to tits lower aerodynamic resistance and weighs around two tonnes less.”

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