The building of Aussie Invader 5R has now come to the completion of phase 1 (a rolling car and systems in place), with phase 2 underway (rocket motor design, propellant assessment and static tests). It has taken about 15 years to get to this stage, from concept to a car that looks ready to race. The science and technology behind such a project is staggering, and virtually everything we design and build, has never been done before in this context. Rosco says “Only now is some of this technology and science coming into the reach of people like us, a dedicated and committed small team, driven with a passion to achieve the seemingly impossible”.

Anatomy of a 1000 MPH Car

Major component overview of Aussie Invader 5R

  1. Nose Cone – Composite fabrication and has a 1.5 degree nose down angle. As the car increases speed this will push weight on to the front wheels. Nose cone is also used to house batteries and on-board computer equipment.
  2. Front Wheels – Solid front wheels mounted on a common axle. Machined from 7050 billet alloy. Max RPM 10,000 +/- 5%. Minimal steering.
  3. Oxidiser Tank – Contains 2000kg of White Fuming Nitric Acid (WFNA) and pushed through the engine in 25 seconds.
  4. Nitrogen Pressure Tanks – Bank of 3 composite tanks in front of the driver. These are used for blowing the White Fuming Nitric Acid (WFNA) into the rocket engine via adjustable regulators (450 – 600psi).
  1. Canopy/Cockpit – This is made from carbon fibre with 15mm polycarbonate windshield. As well as the driver, the cockpit houses all instrumentation, breathing air tanks and fire safety equipment. The canopy can be jettisoned in emergencies.
  2. Fuel Tank – Contains 400 litres of turpentine. When both the oxidiser and fuel are blown into the motor hypergolic ignition occurs, creating a force of 62,000 lbf / 200,000 hp. This will accelerate Aussie Invader 5R from a standing start to 1000mph in just over 20 seconds.
  3. Tail Fin/Horizontal Stabilizer – Vertical tail fin made from alloy of honeycomb construction with an adjustable horizontal stabilizer. The tail fin and horizontal stabilizer has the ability to generate lift or down force depending on load feedback from our rear axle load cells.
  1. Nitrogen Pressure Tank – This filament wound composite N2 tank is mounted behind the drivers seat, it is a dedicated blowdown tank for the fuel with a 4000psi rating.
  2. Brakes/Air Brakes – The hydraulic air brakes are situated on either side of the car and deployed at about 800 – 850mph after the engine is shut down. Their job is to disrupt the airflow and rapidly slow the car to 600mph so the parachutes can be deployed.
  3. Brakes/Parachutes – There are 2 parachutes, which are deployed using drogue guns. The high speed chute is deployed at around 600 mph and stabilizes our vehicle, which rapidly decelerates to about 400 mph. Low speed chute is then deployed, slowing the car to about 200mph, when conventional brakes take over.
  1. Rear Wheels – The solid rear wheels are machined from 7050 billet alloy. They weigh 140kg each and have a safety rating of 10,000 RPM (+/- 5%). The rear wheels have a “V” shaped rim to cut into the mud lake surface and keep the car straight. The rear wheels are also fitted with a high speed disk brake rotor and 6 spot callipers for low speed braking, 200 mph to standstill.
  2. Rocket Engine – The rocket engine is a pressure fed liquid bi-propellant rocket and avoids the more complex turbo pump set up. It is rated at 62,000 lbs/f (equivalent to about 200,000 hp or more power than 2 x Hornet Fighter aircraft).
  3. V Shaped Underbelly – This design is unique to Aussie Invader 5R and will help to deflect the ground effect shock wave either side of the car as it goes supersonic and reduce pounding drag. It also houses pipework needed to feed the propellants from the tanks to the engine via step-down regulators.