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 1

First Metal Cut

Wednesday, 29 June, 2011

Bloodhound TV

Episode 1 records the moment the first metal components for BLOODHOUND's chassis were manufactured at Hampson Industries.

Event News

BLOODHOUND SSC Genome part 2 announced at the IMechE

Tuesday, 12 April, 2011


On Tuesday 12th April 2011, a team of BLOODHOUND SSC Engineers headed by Chief Engineer Mark Chapman announced the publication of the BLOODHOUND SSC Genome part 2.

Press Release

Design drawings for 1,000mph Car Released

Monday, 11 April, 2011


3D imagery captures 30 man-years of design effort

Engineering News

BLOODHOUND reaches major milestone –build begins

Tuesday, 8 February, 2011


BLOODHOUND reaches major milestone –build begins

• 90% of BLOODHOUND SSC primary structure now in manufacture
• Roll-out for UK runway trials in Q2 2012

Engineering News

Config10 – the Holy Grail

Tuesday, 25 May, 2010


by Ben Evans, Swansea University

Engineering News

BLOODHOUND SSC's latest aerodynamic shape

Thursday, 22 April, 2010


It was recently announced that the BLOODHOUND Aerodynamics team have resolved the issue of excessive tail lift at supersonic speeds.

Engineering News

Design of Experiments

Monday, 22 March, 2010


In the last article, we looked at the Parametric Study done by the Engineering Design team.

Engineering News

Parametric Study

Friday, 12 March, 2010


There's been some new buzz words and acronyms in the Engineering Team recently, all lumped under the headings:

DoE and Parametric Study

DoE stands for Design of Experiments, but what does all that mean?

Engineering News

Jet over Rocket configuration confirmed!

Monday, 23 November, 2009


The shape of BLOODHOUND SSC has evolved a long way from the original "Configuration 0" first thought up in August 2007. See the story of the configuration development here.

Engineering News

Optimum Shapes ... and other helpful suggestions

Friday, 28 August, 2009


By Ron Ayers, (Aerodynamics and Performance)

Engineering News

Topology Optimization of BLOODHOUND SSC's Primary Structure

Wednesday, 5 August, 2009


by Alessio D'Alesio

Engineering News

BLOODHOUND SSC CFD/Aero update - July 2009

Thursday, 16 July, 2009


by Ben Evans

Thrust2 and ThrustSSC were very successful cars - ThrustSSC went faster that the speed of sound in  1997, but only just!  BLOODHOUND SSC is designed to go well into the supersonic region: