Bury St Edmunds-based Antistat moves into fast lane with specialist flooring for Bloodhound SCC land speed project

The 1000mph Bloodhound SSC Show Car. Picture: STEFAN MARJORAM

The 1000mph Bloodhound SSC Show Car. Picture: STEFAN MARJORAM - Credit: Stefan Marjoram

A Suffolk firm is playing its part in a project to launch a British jet-powered car that could smash the land speed record.

Antistat chief executive John Hensley. Antistat won Business of the Year at the Anglian Business Awa

Antistat chief executive John Hensley. Antistat won Business of the Year at the Anglian Business Awards 2011.

Bury St Edmunds-based Antistat, which makes a range of Electrostatic Discharge Protection (ESD) products including highly specialist flooring, has helped create a safe environment for the construction of the 1,000mph Bloodhound SSC.

The ground-breaking vehicle, which has been in development since 2008, is almost ready for its first test run later this year.

Project director Richard Noble, current land speed record holder Andy Green and a dedicated team have been working on the machine, which is being built in the south of England. They hope to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers with their home-grown vehicle, capable of going from 0 to 1000mph in 55 seconds.

It has a drag factor of 20 tons at full speed and a power ratio of 135,000 brake-horse-power.

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The 13m car is scheduled to blast down a 12-mile test track at Newquay Aerohub in Cornwall in October.

ESD-safe flooring was key to the Bloodhound project as people only feel an electric shock when it is 2,000 volts or more, the firm explained. However, damage to electrical components can be caused at only 100 volts, so it is impossible to know if damage has been caused until the components don’t work or fail in the field, at which point it is too late.

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Antistat chief executive John Hensley, who founded the company 30 years ago, said: “It’s fantastic for us to have been involved with this extraordinary and exciting project.

“It has been refreshing to see so many organisations and people working together to realise a vision, and the fact that this project is also being used to bring engineering to life and ignite interest in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths)-space with school-age children is even better.

“We need the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers to believe anything is possible – this project looks set to smash the current world land speed record (set in 1997), and seeing that happen in front of their eyes will help them to realise the only boundaries to success are those we create for ourselves.”

Antistat is offering a pair of tickets to see the first public test run of the Bloodhound SSC at a VIP day on October 26. Visit the Antistat website for details.

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