Around half the thrust of BLOODHOUND SSC will be provided by a Eurojet EJ200 jet engine, which is a very advanced military turbofan engine normally used in a Eurofighter Typhoon plane.
In BLOODHOUND, the EJ200 is housed in the back half of the Car in the upper chassis, above the rocket. It weighs approximately 1 tonne and would suck all of the air out of an average house in just 3 seconds.
Why a jet engine?
A jet engine may seem very different from a car’s diesel or petrol engine, but it is still an internal combustion engine. Air is sucked into the engine and is compressed, fuel is added and then burns, and this expands, pushing the exhaust out of the nozzle which produces thrust.
The EJ200 produces 9 tonnes of thrust, which provides the initial power to take the Car to 650mph.
The BLOODHOUND Project has been loaned three EJ200s by the UK’s Ministry of Defence – these are ‘early development’ engines which are close to the end of their flight hours.
Modifying the EJ200 for use in a car
The EJ200 is a digitally-controlled engine which was designed to be used in a jet fighter plane, not a car. This means that certain functions aren’t ideal for use in BLOODHOUND without some modifications.
Crucially, for example, if the EJ200 loses its connection to its control unit, it is designed to continue operating so that the plane doesn’t stop flying. However, in BLOODHOUND we do need the engine to stop if the digital control unit fails so that the Car doesn’t career off into the desert. So Andy has a manually operated valve which he can use to shut off the jet engine’s fuel supply and thereby shut down the engine.
The air intake has also had to be changed. At 1,000mph the intake will experience internal pressures of around 1.4 Bar (20psi) so it has been successfully pressure tested to 1.7 Bar (26psi).
If you’re interested in the EJ200 jet engine and how it is being used in BLOODHOUND, you can read about:
- integrating the EJ200 into BLOODHOUND
- the jet engine intake – why it has its distinctive size and shape, and its position in the Car
- testing the EJ200 after modifying it for BLOODHOUND
- how jet propulsion works
- different classes of jet engine.