Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Contents 90 SCOOP AUTUMN 2010
TAIL FIN carbon fibre stabiliser
with an adjustable horizontal fin. Used to
help keep the car straight and provide
rear end down force.
COCKPIT designed to support the
driver and minimise effects of G forces.
Also equipped with all instrumentation and
breathing air tanks in event of a fire.
HTP TANK containing 2500kg of High
Test Peroxide, which mixes with the
kerosene derivative JP5 bio-fuel to
produce 62,000 pounds of thrust.
NOSE CONE composite
fabrication. Houses batteries
and on-board computer
FRONT WHEELS hubless solid front
wheels mounted on a common axle.
Hand forged aluminium (up to 1368kmh).
Composite wheels (1600kmh).
TANKS HTP bank of three tanks in
front of the driver. Used for blowing
the HTP into the four rocket engines.
FUEL TANK containing
400 litres of JP5 bio-fuel
NITROGEN PRESSURE TANKS
FUEL bank of three tanks behind
the driver. Used for blowing the
fuel into the four rocket engines,
where it will mix with the HTP.
REAR WHEELS hand forged
L77 aluminium (up to 1368kmh).
1600kmh (composite wheels).
ROCKET ENGINES X hypergolic
(self-starting) rocket engines. Each
engine produces 15,500 pounds of
thrust. Capable of accelerating Aussie
Invader 5R (8.5 tons) from 0 -1600kmh
in 20 seconds.
CHUTE CANS X one
150ft stinger stabiliser rope (high
speed deployment, 1448kmh).
One 7ft 6in chute (low speed
ROSCO'S ROCKET continued from page 87
(760.343mph -- 1223kmh -- set in 1997 by Briton
Andy Green in his jet-powered ThrustSSC car).
Mention Russian "taxis" though and Rosco s
heart rate jumps a notch or three. It was in
Russia, looking at buying two MiG jet engines for
a previous Aussie Invader 5R design, that he found
himself in a "situation".
"These were the world s most powerful jet
engines -- 35,000lb of thrust each -- and they were
in wooden crates at an army base. But the guy I
was talking to couldn t get me a price," he says.
Negotiations dragged on for days and when
Rosco found he had a few hours spare, decided
to take in some tourist sights. After visiting Red
Square he hopped into a "taxi" to head back to
his hotel. But near the hotel he suddenly realised
the taxi was anything but. It had no door handles
inside and the driver, who was talking animatedly
on a mobile phone, suddenly sped off.
"He got up to around 90kmh and I was
wondering what do I do; did he have a gun?" says
Rosco, who decided on a Bond-like method to
escape when the car was forced to slow in traffic. "I
used my elbow and smashed the rear window and
Rosco doesn t plan on returning to Russia any-
time soon and no longer needs the MiG engines.
The new-look Aussie Invader 5R
will use four engines designed by
New Zealand s Rocket Lab Ltd
to hurl Rosco from 0 -- 1000mph
(1609kmh) in just 20 seconds. Get-
ting the project off the ground, and
keeping Aussie Invader 5R firmly on
it, presents some immense technical
-- and financial -- issues. So far, it has
cost around $800,000 and Rosco is still
chasing a major sponsor to help fund the estimated
$4.5 million needed. Then there s the question of
where to attempt the record.
Despite all its wide-open spaces, WA or else-
where in Australia is unlikely to host the record
attempt; lack of any interest from State and
Federal Government is one reason, as are the sheer
logistics of shipping the car, equipment and
support crew to remote Outback sites.
The McGlashan camp believes it will be easier
to attempt the record overseas; Abu Dhabi, UAE,
is a leading contender.
Aussie Invader 5R faces some daunting techni-
cal challenges. It needs specially designed hand-
forged wheels to handle the stress of hurtling
across the ground at 1600kmh. Keeping the car
balanced as it guzzles 2.5 tonnes of hydrogen per-
oxide and 400 litres of bio-fuel in 20-25 seconds
is another issue. There s a whole bunch of red tape,
too, in setting a record; the car s "runs" must be
carefully monitored, timed and verified by officials
of the FIA, the international motorsport body.
The car will take 16km to stop but slowing
down is not straightforward; the rockets have to be
shut down sequentially as instant deceleration will
black out Rosco due to negative "G forces".
Despite the likely choice of an overseas attempt
there is, however, a very local feel to the project.
The rollcage is being built by LF Performance Prod-
ucts, of Bentley; the car s body is constructed from
steel provided by Di Candilo Steel City of Bayswa-
ter while K.J Beer, a West Perth engineering firm
with extensive experience in the energy industry, is
building the special pressurised fuel tanks.
Another local firm, Internet job site WestJobs.
com.au, has come on board with financial
sponsorship. Just how much of Aussie Invader 5R
will be computer-controlled is yet to be deter-
mined but Rosco, echoing the argument of the
early astronauts who did not want to be just spam
in a can , is adamant this will be a driver s car.
"I don t want some computer telling me I can t
race," he says.
For more information, see aussiein ader.com.
Just when Aussie Invader
5R will be ready to roll is not
yet certain, although there is one big factor
helping drive the project -- to beat a British team,
Bloodhound, to the 1000mph mark.
Bloodhound will use three different engines
(hybrid rocket, a piston engine and turbofan jet)
in its attempt. Current world record holder Andy
Green will drive Bloodhound.
Rosco is determined not to be the also-ran.
"Chuck Yeager is known as the guy who of-
ficially broke the sound barrier (Mach 1) but later
Scott Crossfield hit Mach 2 -- and nobody remem-
bers him," he says. "The guy that hits 1500mph
will be the same."
MIGHTY MACHINE: Aussie Invader 5R, above, is a complex, powerful
beast. Below: Rosco McGlashan's earlier car, Aussie Invader II, fires up.
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