Castle Engineering in Glasgow has been highlighted in the latest BBC article on the project.
Creating the “Superwheels” for the vehicle. Have a look at the video below, the process of creating these precisely engineered discs out of aluminium is a process unlike anything you are likely to have seen before. Being able to withstand the stresses of travelling at close to 1000 Mph is no simple task. The fastest wheels ever are in production. The project details and the process of creating the aluminium disc itself is fascinating.
Bloodhound SSC will use a Eurofighter jet engine bolted to a rocket to take it through the sound barrier. The ultimate aim is to push the land speed record beyond 1,000mph (1,610km/h) in 2016. The attempts will be made on a specially prepared lake bed in South Africa.
In revolutions per minute (rpm), the wheels will reach a staggering 10,500. An F1 car would “only” do about 2,500rpm. Exactly how fast Bloodhound’s wheels will actually turn, however, is something of an unknown.
There will come a point when the vehicle is going so quickly that the discs will not be able to keep up. They will slide. “Rudders” might be a good description of them at that stage.
Finding a wheel that can cope with the stress of running at 1,000mph “was my first and hardest piece of homework on Bloodhound,” says La Grue.
Not only do the 91kg discs have to maintain their integrity during rapid rotation, they must do so while being blasted by small pieces of grit.
The “race track” at Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape has been cleared of all stone debris larger than a pea, but, even so, the top dirt layer on the lake bed will kick up.
Particles lifted by the front wheels will hit the back ones with the velocity of a bullet. If there are any imperfections, any cracks, in the discs – then this assault could trigger a catastrophic failure.
Lockheed Martin UK and Innoval Technology led the early research and design work on the wheels.