Jaguar F-Type Goes Head To Head With A Jet

This Article Originally Appeared On Wired

It’s really, really hard to drive a rocket-powered “car” at extremely high speeds. Just ask Top Gear’s Richard Hammond. It takes loads of preparation, funding, and special equipment, plus a lot of communication to make sure everything’s going as planned.

That’s why the folks behind the Bloodhound SSC—a rocket-powered car that’s aiming to break both the world’s land speed record and the sound barrier—trekked into the South African desert last autumn with a Jaguar F-Type and an L39 jet.

The 135,000-brake horsepower Bloodhound SSC (as in supersonic car) is the result of a decade-long engineering project, and should make its first attempt to reach 1,000 mph in September or next year. Part of that 10-year span went into making custom communications equipment, to transmit data from the car’s 300 sensors and three 720p video streams, in real-time.

The team has built a custom LTE network to talk to the car when it’s traveling at speed. Using directional antennas, pointed towards the car, they can stream four megabytes of data per second. To test their design, they installed the antennas built for the Bloodhound SSC in the F-Type. Then the team measured signal strength at speed from the plane.

It’s not clear how much of the show was actually necessary to test the equipment. But, as an awesome bonus, they did get a magnificent photo op. Jaguar is, after all, a Bloodhound sponsor.

The team isn’t providing a whole lot of info on the technical side, but it did release this video, and we’re not the kind to complain about watching Jaguar’s best car in decades and a plane rocketing through the desert.