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. AIR BRAKES – Hydraulic activated air brakes are used to slow car from 800 MPH. Force of up to 7 tonnes on the air brakes surface when deployed.
  2. ROCKET ENGINE – Ablative B3 rocket engine – Bi-Propellant 62,000 lbf (equivalent to 200,000 hp). Capable of accelerating a 9 tonne Aussie Invader 5R from 0 – 1000mph (1600 km/h) in 22 seconds. Expelled plume will exceed 2,000 f.
  3. REAR WHEELS – Aerospace aluminium (solid/tireless) wheels. 140kg each. Max. rotational speed is 10,200 RPM. Rated to 50,000 G. Each wheel has a slight “V” shaped surface.
  4. TAIL FIN – Vertical/Horizontal stabiliser with adjustable pitch, forward and aft replay cameras. Aerospace alloy, honeycomb construction.
  5. ACTUATORS – Open and close valves to let propellants into the engine.
  6. REGULATORS – adjust pressure of propellants going into the engine. Adjustable from 450 – 800 PSI.
  1. PARACHUTES – High and low speed parachute cans. Deployed by pneumatic drogue guns. High speed chute deployed at 600 mph, low speed chute deployed at 450 mph.
  2. BLOWDOWN TANKS – 4 x composite filament wound gaseous nitrogen blowdown tanks. Rated at 4000 PSI. Longer tanks on the right, in a cluster of three.
  3. FEED LINES – taking propellants from orbital propellant charging module (OPCM) to rocket engine.
  4. SERVICE BAY – Electronics and hydraulics service bay (detail not shown)
  5. FEED LINES – Gaseous nitrogen is fed into OPCM, pushing pistons along the tubes, forcing the fuel and oxidiser into the engine, where it combines and ignites (hypergolic reaction).
  6. DRIVERS COCKPIT – Surrounded by reinforced roll cage. Dual throttle pedals, master controls, steering wheel and heads up displays (not shown in this image).
  1. DRIVERS SYSTEMS – Onboard fire suppressant systems, driver air breathing and communications equipment.
  2. GASEOUS NITROGEN – Pushes the pistons down in the 7 x OPCM tubes. 4 x oxidiser tubes (254mm dia. 6m long) and 3 x fuel tubes (305mm dia. x 6m long).
  3. “V” SHAPED UNDERBELLY – Underside of car, designed to deflect the shockwave that bounces off the ground once the car goes transonic and through the sound barrier (mach 1).
  4. OPCM – Orbital propellant charging module is unique to Aussie Invader 5R. By pushing the propellant into the engine this way we eliminate the propellants being able to “slosh” and de-stabilise the car.
  5. OXIDISER TUBES – 4 x (254mm wide x 6m long). These 4 tubes hold around 2 tonnes of white fuming nitric acid (WFNA).
  1. FUEL TUBES – 3 x fuel tubes (305mm wide x 6m long). These 3 tubes hold around 800 litres of turpentine.
  2. CANARDS – Winglets that adjust the weight on the front wheels as the cars centre of gravity changes.
  3. VERTICAL STABILISER – Front stabiliser keeps the car straight.
  4. GROUND BRAKE – Emergency hydraulic ground brake and jack to lift front of car when turning around.
  5. FRONT WHEELS – Aerospace aluminium (solid/tireless) front wheels. 2 x wheels side by side on a common axle. Each wheel has a slightly curved surface. Weight 140kg each. Max. rotational speed 10,200 RPM. Rated to 50,000 G.
  6. NOSE CONE – The nose cone sets up the airflow over the whole car, which is critical for the cars aerodynamic performance and stability. Nose is angled down one degree.
  7. NOSE CONE FRAME – Supports the nose and houses Doppler radar and avionics equipment.