Race for the Line

Race for the Line

The Bloodhound SSC are hoping to inspire the next generation with their STEM competition 'Race for the Line' that sees Year 7 pupils across the country build and race rocket cars.

Royal Hospital School launched the project with a visit from Mike Ford, Bloodhound SSC engineer and TEDx speaker. As part of the team behind the 135,000 bhp rocket car, Mike was able to explain the science behind going supersonic and what kind of design and engineering challenges they face when going at 1,000mph.

In April our pupils sculpted, sanded and streamlined their blue blocks of foam into what they hoped would be a qualifying rocket car. Teams lined up in eager anticipation on the tennis courts as each car was raced dramatically in a cloud of smoke and shower of sparks through a timing gate. The fastest three teams from RHS would then advance to the regional stage competing against other schools from across East Anglia.

At the regional finals competitors had to make a whole new car using what they learnt from previous tests and research. RHS was asked to host the stage and the morning was spent in the assembly hall with each school at their workstation desperately trying to obtain marginal gains through mass reduction and aerodynamics. Once again teams took to the tarmac to test their machines against the clock.

RHS made a clean sweep of the competition and took the top three times crediting their success to "wheel calibration" but not fully revealing their engineering secret! The top two teams will now compete at the national finals taking place at RAF Wittering on the 28 June.

The event will seemany STEM related activities as well as flying displays by helicopters and the Red Arrows. Should they be successful, their team name, as well as that of the school, will be emblazoned on to the Bloodhound 1000mph car.