HI-TECH: Driver Andy Green with a model of the Bloodhound, which aims to reach 1000mph, outside Holyrood yesterday. Picture: Gordon Terris
Glasgow firm Castle Precision Engineering is to produce the wheels for the Bloodhound, which aims to reach 1000mph and smash the existing record of 763mph.
The 900mm wheels, weighing 90kg, will spin up to 177 times per second at top speed as the 7.5-tonne jet and rocket-powered car hurtles across the South African desert.
Speaking outside Holyrood, where a model of the car was on display yesterday, driver Andy Green described it as "the most exciting engineering project in the world".
Mr Green, 49, a fighter pilot in the RAF and mathematician by background, set the existing land speed record in the Thrust Super Sonic Car, devised by Richard Noble who is now project director for Bloodhound.
Mr Green said: "This is not just about breaking our own record. It's about enthusing a new generation of kids about science and engineering.
"To build the hi-tech low- carbon world of tomorrow, they will need a lot of scientists and engineers. The engineering solutions of tomorrow, need scientists and engineers today."
Castlemik-based Castle Precision Engineering specialises in hi-tech engineering for the aerospace, energy and automotive industries.
Director Yan Tiefenbrun said: "The wheels are the most critical part of the car. A series of other products can fail, the engines can fail, but the wheels can't fail.
"It's a very proud moment, not just for us but for Scottish manufacturing in general.
"Scotland has a fantastic engineering history that has been forgotten in the past few years. This is a great vehicle for reinforcing what Scottish manufacturing can achieve."
A national network of ambassadors are going into 5000 schools around the UK, including 400 in Scotland, to talk about the Bloodhound, under the auspices of the Institute of Engineering.
Stuart Jackson, a physics teacher from Stewart's Melville School in Edinburgh who went to see the car with pupils, said: "It's brilliant to be able to link this car to the classroom."
The Bloodhound will be on display at the Riverside Museum in Glasgow this weekend where visitors will also be able to try out a custom-built simulator.