Killer app: PressOn’s tail wrap set to break the sound barrier

The Bloodhound SSC is “an amazing display of the collective British spirit,” according to PressOn joint managing director Nigel Webster. Racing to 210mph on its first unveiling in late October, the supersonic car – designed to reach up to 1,000mph at full power – was put together by a team of engineers and a number of select suppliers from across the UK, including the Chatham-based printer.

What did you produce?

A wrap for the tailfin of the Bloodhound, printed with a Union Flag incorporating the names of the 36,110 people, schools, and organisations who contributed money and resources to making the project a reality.

What did the job entail?

The flag design was put together using Adobe InDesign and scaled to fit the 3.2x1.8m substrate. Using an HP Latex 570 printer, it was applied to Avery MPI 1104EA cast white vinyl self-adhesive film using six colours – CMYK, plus a light cyan and magenta.

“This meant we could do lighter blues and reds without using coarser percentages of the normal cyan or magenta,” explains Webster.

Once printed, the substrate was laminated using a Crest laminator. It was taken to the Bloodhound headquarters in Bristol for application, where it was wrapped by PressOn staff over the course of a single day.

What challenges were overcome?

Due to the supersonic speeds the car can reach, print on the body would burn off. Print was only applied to the tailfin because it is in a slipstream, so there was less risk of it being exposed to extreme resistance.

“Our biggest challenge was making sure not to damage hundreds of thousands of pounds of delicate, advanced equipment so carefully put together,” says Webster. “I was sure to keep a close eye on my installers to make sure they behaved themselves at the facility.”

What was the feedback?

Bloodhound SSC team member Tony Parraman said: “When we successfully completed our test at Cornwall Airport, Newquay, 10,000 people and the world’s media were watching.

“We called upon PressOn to print and vinyl wrap the fin of the car at short notice, as we also had to finish making the fin itself.
They did a fantastic job, ensuring we did not disappoint thousands of supporters. The speed and efficiency with which the team wrapped the fin was incredible to watch, and they took a can-do approach when any problems arose.”


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