Bloodhound: Race to the Line

On Tuesday 17th April 2018, Penrice students were invited to RNAS Culdrose to take part in the Regional Finals of Race to the Line; a project based around the Bloodhound speed record attempts.

The project, which has been running for three years, saw a number of schools come together to create and race cars in a hanger on the Royal Navy airbase, hosted by the Air Engineers at the Flight Deck Training School.

Mrs Powell explains: “We had three teams taking part up against Redruth, Helston, Brannel, Penryn and Truro School. The teams were given a block of dense foam and a template and had to design a car – no smaller than the template – that would be the fastest on the day.”

The students, under the guidance of the Naval Air Engineers, were given two hours to complete their vehicle and used hot wire cutters and sanding machines to make their vehicle as streamline as possible.

The Air Engineers discussed aspects such as streamlining and drag effect with the students and advised on possible amendments to the vehicles. All the teams then presented their vehicles for scrutiny where they were measured and weighed.

Mrs Powell said: “The students were so focussed; some were ready to accept the advice given by the engineers, while others went with their own ideas.”

The teams then moved to another hanger where there were races were held; light gates were with cars threaded onto wires through eyelets underneath the vehicles. Each car then had a small explosive charge placed in the back and these were attached to a detonator by a wire.

Mrs Powell continued: “All the students watched in anticipation as two by two the cars were sent hurtling down the wire through the light gates to record the speed. Incredible! Unfortunately the Penrice teams were not in the top three, however they all tried their very best and several have been inspired to try engineering as a career – some even thought of a career in the Armed Forces.”

Watch one of the races below