The Bloodhound Project Main body

Main body

BLOODHOUND SSC is a hybrid construction because there are different requirements for the two ends of the Car. The front section of the Car (which consists broadly of the nose and the cockpit) is primarily made of carbon fibre composite while the rear section is made from metal.

Each part of the structure presents its own challenges in terms of design and manufacturing.

Forward structure

The front section of the Car consists of a carbon fibre monocoque, similar in concept to a Formula 1 tub. This provides Andy Green, our driver, with a very secure, rigid safety cell. It is also the most efficient way to form the complex curved design of the Car in front of the cockpit and main jet engine intake.

The monocoque needs to take the aerodynamic load (air pressure) of up to 10 tonnes per square metre. As a result, it has taken more than 10,000 hours to design and manufacture.

It is made from five different types of carbon fibre weave and two different resins. Sandwiched between the layers of carbon fibre are three different thicknesses of aluminium honeycomb core (8, 12 and 20mm), which provide additional strength. At its thickest point the monocoque comprises 13 individual layers but is just 25mm in cross section. Overall the monocoque weighs 200kg.

The monocoque bolts directly to the metallic rear chassis.

As a safety check, we’ve shot projectiles at the ballistic panels that will go on the side of the monocoque to ensure Andy will be fully protected from stones or other debris hitting the car at high speed.

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Rear structure

The rear of the Car is a metallic structure that’s been constructed separately as upper and lower halves.

Upper chassis

The upper chassis houses the Eurojet EJ200 engine and the intake duct, and above this sits the fin. This half of the chassis is a ‘rib and stringer’ construction, similar to that used in the aerospace industry. The ribs are machined from aluminium billet and the stringers that run the length of the structure are made from titanium. The outer skin is also titanium in order to reduce the weight at the rear of the Car but keep it stiff.

The titanium skin was both glued and riveted on to the ribs – a process that used 11,500 aerospace rivets. It was then ‘cooked’ in a giant autoclave (effectively a huge pressure cooker) at the National Composite Centre to ‘cure’ the glue, in a process that saw the temperature raised by 5°C per minute, then baked at 175°C for one hour and allowed to cool overnight. Using both glue and rivets makes the upper chassis doubly strong, as either would be strong enough on its own.

Lower chassis

The lower part of the rear structure houses the auxiliary power unit, the jet fuel tank and the rocket system. It is made of a series of aluminium frames and bulkheads that are skinned in steel, using around 4,000 rivets to hold it together.

The furthest back portion of the lower structure forms the ‘rear subframe’. The rear suspension is mounted on this, together with the rocket thrust ring  - which transfers the thrust of the rocket into the chassis – and the parachute cans and attachment.


The underside of the front of the Car – the monocoque – is titanium, while the floor of the rear of the Car is made of steel plate. Both materials were chosen to prevent the bottom of the Car from being worn through by the desert silt.

LatestRelated Photos

  • Bloodhound SSC parts being made at Amada
  • Richard Noble checks out the lower mould, now ready for lay up
  • Andy Green with a television news crew.

Cisco Bloodhound TV, Episode 28

Lower Chassis and Construction Sequence

Monday, 19 August, 2013

Bloodhound TV

This episode of Cisco Bloodhound TV illustrates the construction sequence of the lower chassis. It shows exactly how BLOODHOUND SSC's chassis was built, glued, riveted, bonded ...

watch the video

Engineering News

Lower Chassis Adhesive Testing

Tuesday, 4 June, 2013


Bloodhound SSC Engineer Chris Hannon investigates the adhesives used in bonding the components of the lower chassis together, and presents his technical assessment

Cisco Bloodhound TV, Episode 21 - Stress

Stress Analysis

Friday, 1 March, 2013

Bloodhound TV

Meet Bloodhound SSC's stress analyst Roland, and find out how he makes sure the parts of the car are both strong and light.

Project News

Bloodhound on the TV News

Monday, 21 January, 2013


Andy Green recently visted Bloodhound sponsor URT Group to see for himself just how the monocoque is being made out of carbon fibre. Have a look at the following clips to see how it was shown on BBC and ITV news ...

BBC: http://youtu.be/lHpy4MsIA2Y

ITV: http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2013-01-10/fastest-man-prepares-for-new-record/

Engineering News

Hampsons progress on sill welding

Friday, 4 May, 2012


BLOODHOUND SSC's Sponsorship lead and supply chain manager Conor La Grue visited Hampson Aerospace in Wigan last week to see for himself the progress being made on making parts for BLOODHOUND.

Engineering News

Hampson January 2012 update

Thursday, 12 January, 2012


We have received the following update from Ian Gaskin, Programme Manager at Hampsons Industries which shows the progress being made on BLOODHOUND SSC's lower chassis...


Engineering News

6 metre long precision assembly fixture delivered on time by Manufax

Saturday, 22 December, 2012


by Conor La Grue

It's great to close out 2011 with a key deliverable towards the build of the 5000 part puzzle that is BLOODHOUND SSC. However in this case its not a part for the car itself, but something equally vital that's arrived.

Engineering News

Lower chassis assembly tooling developed and delivered

Thursday, 22 December, 2011


Manufax Engineering and its sister company Nelson Tool Company are delighted and excited to be part of such an engineering adventure as Bloodhound SSC.  With a core business of supp

Engineering News

Manufax progress

Monday, 19 December, 2011


You may have noticed the Rolex timer on the front page counting down to "Manufax install of the 6m chassis assembly fixture"

Sponsor News

Advanced Composites Group Ltd joins the BLOODHOUND SSC Land Speed Record Team

Friday, 7 October, 2011


We are proud to announce that Advanced Composites Group Ltd. (ACG), part of Umeco plc, has become one of Bloodhound’s Product Sponsors, providing composite materials, tooling, design and component manufacturing capability to the BLOODHOUND Project.

Engineering News

Rear Subframe design complete

Saturday, 1 October, 2011


Bloodhound SSC Engineers Brian Coombs and Roland Dennison have completed the design of the rear subframe chassis - one of the major targets featured on the "Rolex Countdown Timer" on the front page.

Engineering News

6 inch rocket test

Friday, 12 August, 2011


Friday 12th August 2011: After several days (and long nights) preparing his new UK rocket facility, Daniel Jubb and his Falcon rocket team successfully fired the development 6 inch diameter hybrid rocket today.