The Duke of Edinburgh had a chance to meet the people set to break the land speed record, when he visited the Bloodhound Technical Centre in Bristol on Thursday.
The Bloodhound SSC is the fastest, most powerful land vehicle in the world, with a maximum speed of 1,000 mph, which it can reach in less than 60 seconds. Engineers are currently in the process of building this supersonic car, which is set to be tested in Cornwall next summer at the low speed of 200 mph, before flying to South Africa, where it will try to break the land speed record.
The assembly of the Bloodhound SSC is being supported by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, of which Prince Philip is the Colonel-In-Chief. In addition to that, he is the senior most fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and has a deep rooted interest in the design and running of cars. His Royal Highness met the rest of the Bloodhound team, engineers, and education and administrative staff. He had lunch with them, before admiring the plans for the supersonic vehicle.
The director of this project, Richard Noble, said: “We were privileged that the Duke should take time out from his busy schedule to have lunch with the Bloodhound team. He took the time to talk with everyone and was particularly interested in the project’s education remit.”
It seems that the Duke’s love for cars runs in the family. Prince Philip himself has been seen driving around Windsor Great Park. Of his children, Prince Charles owns two Aston Martins which have been converted to run on bio fuel. One may remember the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were seen driving down The Mall in Charles’s Aston Martin following their wedding. Both Prince Andrew and Princess Anne each own a Bentley, which they use for private engagements.
Coincidentally, from 1962 to 1969, the Royal Family owned a yacht, which, like this new high-speed car, was also called Bloodhound. It was bought on the request of Prince Philip. Perhaps this visit brought back old memories for him?