Steam land record speed attempt delayed

An attempt by enthusiasts behind a British-built steam supercar to break a century-old world land speed record for steam-powered vehicles was today delayed for 24 hours following a minor throttle problem.

The 25ft-long British Steam Car - dubbed the "fastest kettle in the world" - is aiming to beat a speed of 127mph reached by American Fred Marriott in a Stanley steam car in 1906 at the Daytona Beach Road Course.

It is the longest officially-recognised land speed record, but the British team hope to overhaul it by reaching a target velocity of 170mph with their car at the Edwards Air Force base in California.

A team spokesman said: "They attempted the record and did the first run fine, then turned the vehicle around with a view to doing a second run, but then detected a problem. Rather than put the car at risk, it was decided to abort the second run, with a view to attempting the record tomorrow."

The Lymington-based team hope to fix the vehicle's throttle issue later today.

Earlier this month it was agreed to defer the record attempt until this week following a series of "technical issues".

However, the vehicle has managed to reach speeds of more than 130mph following a series of test runs on US soil after the team arrived there in July.

The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) officials, who arrived on the site yesterday, are due to calibrate and record the team's official world record attempt. Runs can take place until August 22, the team spokesman added.

The driver for the record attempt will be Charles Burnett III, a nephew of Lord Montague of Beaulieu, who made it into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1999 for an offshore water speed record of 137mph.

Other team members include the 48-year-old test driver and father-of-two Don Wales, nephew of the late speed ace Donald Campbell and grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell.

Weighing three tons, the British Steam Car is made from a mixture of lightweight carbon-fibre composite and aluminium wrapped around a steel space frame chassis.

Using Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), the car is fitted with 12 boilers containing nearly two miles of tubing. Demineralised water is pumped into the boilers at up to 50l a minute and the burners produce three megawatts of heat.

Steam is superheated to 400C which is injected into the turbine at more than twice the speed of sound. Large Goodyear tyres and brake discs help bring it to a stop, and the car is also kitted with a parachute.

In April, during testing at the Ministry of Defence's Thorney Island facility in Emsworth, Hampshire, the car reached a speed of 72mph and all the vehicle's systems worked perfectly.

The Edwards Airforce Base has low altitude, meaning more oxygen for the car's burners.

Officials said the team needs seven miles of track to make the record attempt, which precluded it taking place in the UK.

In 1985, the Barber-Nicholls team reached a speed of 145mph in their vehicle, Steamin' Demon, but no attempt was made to have it officially recognised by the FIA.

However, the British Steam Car team said it acknowledges the speed as the record to exceed.

The FIA recognises a land speed record as the average speed of two passes made across the same measured distance in opposing directions within 60 minutes of each other.

The time of the two runs is then averaged to obtain the official recorded speed.

Tomorrow's attempt will take place between 2pm and 6pm UK time.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: New Business Sales Consultant - Mobile - OTE £35,000

    £14000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent telecoms compa...

    Recruitment Genius: New Business Sales Consultant - Unified - OTE £35,000

    £14000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent telecoms compa...

    Recruitment Genius: Trade Sales Consultant - Furniture

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a besp...

    Recruitment Genius: Direct Sales Consultants - OTE £65,000 - £100,000

    £65000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national direct sales com...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum