The Bloodhound rocket car can currently hit 628mph using traditional rocket fuel rockets and plans to go faster than that in a more environmentally-sound manner – by hitting the coveted 800mph barrier while bringing along an ultra-low emission rocket engine running on concentrated hydrogen peroxide, one that only emits water and oxygen.
It won't be all green, though, as the hydrogen rocket is in addition to the fossil-thirsty Eurofighter jet engine that's doing the main part of the pushing along; although the team is investigating the potential to switch that to a biofuel too, making 2021's record attempt slightly less of a target for environmentalists. Another switch to the car's hardware is the binning of the 550bhp V8 engine – used merely as a fuel pump – to be replaced by an electric equivalent.
The hydrogen rocket engine has been developed by Norway's Nammo in conjunction with a European Space Agency research scheme, and will more usually be found assisting in the later stages of the launch of small payloads. Bloodhound CEO Ian Warhurst said: "I'm also pleased that we are now able to bring many new, more environmentally-relevant technologies into the design of the project. To inspire future generations of engineers, we need to be doing this with relevant technologies." [Bloodhound]