1. ITV Report

UK's 'Bloodhound' rocket car could go faster than 1,000mph

A group of soldiers from the Scottish Guards admire the Bloodhound Project jet engine and hybrid rocket motor powered car today. Photo: PA

A British attempt to smash the world land speed record will inspire a generation of young people, according to the jet-car's driver.

The Bloodhound project aims to design and build a vehicle capable of shattering the 1,000mph mark - faster than a speeding bullet - leaving the current record of 763mph in its dust.

The man behind the wheel of the rocket-propelled machine - Wing Commander Andy Green from the Royal Air Force - hopes children will become scientists and mathematicians after watching him power to 1.4 times the speed of sound.

The 50-year-old former Phantom and Tornado pilot holds the record after he drove the Thrust Supersonic car to 763mph in 1997.

"Now 15 years later, we're running an education programme called Bloodhound to break that record and share the technology with a whole generation of young people," he said.

"This is much bigger than just another land speed record."

A scale model of the Bloodhound SSC on display at Horseguards' Parade in April. Credit: Matt Crossick/EMPICS Entertainment

Powered by a Typhoon jet engine and a hybrid rocket, the RAF pilot will call on his flying experience to control the vehicle, which is much more like a fighter jet than the average saloon car.

Wg Cdr Green added: "All of the technology we have to develop, it's not commercially sensitive, it's not militarily sensitive, there's no competition because there are no other Bloodhounds in the world.

"We can share all of it, and that gives us the ability to reach out to a generation of young people to give them something iconic, exciting and simple - like driving in a straight line - and look at the science, the technology, the maths, the environmental science.

"The whole project lends itself to the world's most exciting science and technology lessons. That is the legacy for Bloodhound."

Thrust SSC, driven by then Squadron Leader Andy Green, breaks the land speed record in 1997. Credit: Alan Chandler / PA Archive

The Ministry of Defence is backing the project, and Whitehall chiefs hope young people will be inspired to get involved in science, technology, mathematics and engineering.

A team of five REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) experts will help build and maintain the car over the next two years in the UK, and be on hand during the record attempts in South Africa next year and in 2014.