Saturday, August 8, 2009

British Steam Car Challenge Team on Course for World Record Success!

"The Fastest Kettle In The World" on its way to setting a new high speed mark of 94.4mph [ctrl-click to launch video]. Image Credit: Don Wales – Test Driver BSCC

British Steam Car Challenge Team on Course for World Record Success!

Finally, after arriving in the United States June 23, 2009, the British Steam Car Challenge has been busy preparing their base camp and test run track in the Mojave Desert, at Rogers Dry Lake Bed on Edwards Air Force Base for this moment in time.

The British Steam Car Challenge Team pictured on Rogers Dry Lake Bed, Edwards AFB, with the three ton sleek British Steam Car, made from a mixture of lightweight carbon-fibre composite and aluminium wrapped around a steel space frame chassis. Image Credit: Don Wales – Test Driver BSCC

Yesterday, August 7, 2009, the British Steam Car Challenge Team has carried out four successful runs ahead of its bid to break the century-old world land speed record for steam-powered vehicles.

The 25ft-long British Steam Car dubbed “the fastest kettle in the world” reached speeds of over 131mph at Edward’s Air Force Base, California. This is faster than the current world record. The FIA was not present having to attend the activities at Bonneville Speed Week in Utah, so the mark will not be officially recognized.

The current official FIA record is 127mph previously set by American, Fred Marriott, driving a Stanley steam car in 1906. Another speed recorded by a steam-powered vehicle was set in 1985 at Bonneville, but at the time, no official FIA stewards were on hand to recognize it as official. The documented speed set by Bob Barber stands at 145.607mph.

The 133mph speed, while good enough to top the officially recognized FIA world land speed record, is still short of the BSCC stated goal of setting a mark that would eclipse both official and unofficial known speed marks. The 133 mph, however, allows the British Steam Car Challenge to claim that "the fastest kettle in the world” is in fact the second fastest vehicle powered by steam EVER.



Previous test speeds run in April, 2009 at Thorney Island, England had passes of 80 plus mph, and here in Southern California of almost 95mph, until yesterday's mark. The British team has hopes to overhaul the land speed record by reaching a target velocity of 170mph with their car.

Weighing three tons, the sleek British Steam Car is made from a mixture of lightweight carbon-fibre composite and aluminium wrapped around a steel space frame chassis. It is fitted with 12 boilers containing nearly two miles of tubing. Demineralised water is pumped into the boilers at up to 50 litres a minute and the burners produce three megawatts of heat. Steam is superheated to 400 degrees Celsius which is injected into the turbine at more than twice the speed of sound, according to a team spokesman.

The FIA will set up the course on Monday August 17, 2009 and official record attempts will be made on the mornings (~6.30 am to 10.30am USA time) from August 18-22, 2009.

... notes from The EDJE


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