Rocket scientists fire up for land speed world record

Chris Boocock and Daniel Jubb (dark hair) are part of a team at Westcott working on the rockets that will propel the Bloodhound car in its 2015 world record attempt - pictured here with the Falcon hybrid rocket for the Bloodhound SSC
Chris Boocock and Daniel Jubb (dark hair) are part of a team at Westcott working on the rockets that will propel the Bloodhound car in its 2015 world record attempt - pictured here with the Falcon hybrid rocket for the Bloodhound SSC

A group of rocket scientists are hoping their efforts will fire a British team to a new world land speed record – and then go on to smash the 1,000mph mark.

The team at Westcott Venture Park, eight miles outside Aylesbury, are developing two types of rocket which will be used to power the Bloodhound SuperSonic Car past the current record of 763mph, set in 1997.

One of the rockets will be used to attempt to break this record in 2015 and then another will be used to go for the 1,000mph mark in 2016.

Daniel Jubb is part of the research and development team at Westcott. He said they wanted to push the boundaries to inspire more people to get involved in the industry.

Mr Jubb said: “This is an engineering adventure.

“We don’t know what happens between 763mph and 1,000mph. Will we get there?

“We are into a completely unknown region.”

While much of the work on the Bloodhound is being done elsewhere, Mr Jubb said part of the reason the rocket team decided to base themselves in Westcott was its rich history.

He said: “There’s a huge amount of rocketry heritage around the site.

“Most of the rocket technology in the UK had its origins at Westcott.

“When we moved here our aim was to bring back large-scale rocketry to Westcott.”

As well as smashing the land speed record, the team want to inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers. This has meant the team travelling to schools across the UK, but they also want to educate people in the Vale about what is happening on their doorstep.

Team member Chris Boocock said: “We want to make the community feel part of this great thing.

“We want to excite children and people.

“The worst thing that could happen is the record is broken and people don’t realise such a key part of the project happened at Westcott.”