Land speed record attempt begins

By | August 18, 2009

Steam carFinal preparations are being carried out by a Hampshire-based team in its bid to break the world land speed record for steam-powered vehicles.

Dubbed the “fastest kettle in the world”, the car aims to reach 170mph (274km/h) at Edwards Air Force base, California, over the next four days.

Built in Lymington, the team’s car will attempt to beat the current record of 127mph (206km/h) set in 1906.

The three-tonne vehicle will be driven by main financer Charles Burnett III.

Technical problems

The British team includes test driver Don Wales, nephew of the late Donald Campbell and grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell, who between them achieved more than 20 land and water speed records.

Mr Wales told the BBC that its main engineering obstacle was to develop a compact boiler system to turn 40 litres (8.8 gallons) of water per-minute into superheated steam at 400C (752F), at 40 times atmospheric pressure.

It was forced to abandon a test run in March on Thorney Island, near Emsworth, when technical problems set in.

The longest standing land speed record is recognised by the Federation International Automobile (FIA).

The team will attempt to break the record for five days between 0630 and 1030 local time (1430 and 1830 BST).

via BBC NEWS | UK | England | Hampshire | Land speed record attempt begins.

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