Fastest steam-powered car-world record set
Edwards Air Force Base, CA, USA -- "Inspiration",
The British Steam Car driven by Charles Burnett III,
achieved an average speed of 139.84mph on two runs over a
measured mile -setting the new world record for the Fastest
The 25-foot-long, three-tonne "kettle" was driven by
its main financier Charles Burnett III from Lymington,
It reached a peak speed of 136.103mph (219.04km/h)
on the first run and 151.085mph (243.15 km/h) on the second.
The timing beat the previous world record
of 127mph set by American Fred Marriott in a Stanley steam
car at the Daytona Beach Road Course in 1906.
Following the success, Mr Burnett said: "It was
absolutely fantastic. I enjoyed every moment of it. We reached
nearly 140mph on the first run before I applied the parachute.
All systems worked perfectly, it was a really good run. The
second run went even better and we clocked a speed in excess
of 150mph. The car really did handle beautifully. "
"The team has worked extremely hard over
the last 10 years and overcome numerous problems. It is a
privilege to be involved with such a talented crew. What we
have achieved today is a true testament to British engineering,
good teamwork and perseverance."
Project Manager Matt Candy said:
"The first run took place at 7.27am when the air temperature
was a cool 63 degrees Fahrenheit, the team turned around the
car in 52minutes (with just 8 minutes spare) in preparation
for its return run. The British Steam Car takes 2.5 miles
to accelerate and after the measured mile, a further 2.5 miles
to decelerate – so each run was over 6.5 miles. The FIA requires
that the return run takes place within 60 minutes. The times
of the two runs are then averaged to obtain the official recorded
fastest steam-powered car will be brought back to
England and will end up at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu,
Inspiration - AKA “the fastest
kettle in the world” is made from a mixture of lightweight
carbon-fibre composite and aluminium wrapped around a steel
space frame chassis and fitted with 12 boilers containing
nearly two miles of tubing.
Design expertise has come from Students
at the University of Southampton as well as from Welsh engineer
Glynne Bowsher, who previously worked on Thrust SSC, the jet-powered
car that broke sound barrier in October 1997, and, at 763mph,
holds the world land speed record.
In total each run was 6.5 miles because the car
takes 2.5 miles to get up to speed and 2.5 miles to slow down
again, aided by a parachute. It took place early in the morning
to take advantage of cooler temperatures.
The three ton car uses a two stage turbine
running on liquid petroleum gas and gets through a ton of
water every 25 minutes.