UK steam car breaks oldest land speed record!

Posted by jerry on August 26th, 2009 — Posted in Journal, Steam

They’ve done it! British Steam Car Challenge driven by Charles Burnett III has broken the land speed record for a steam car averaging 225.055kph (139.843mph) on two runs over a measured mile.

The car weighs around three tonnes and measures 7.6 metres (25 feet). It is powered by a steam turbine driven from 12 boilers containing around 3.2km (2 miles) of tubing. The car runs on clean-burning propane producing superheated steam at 400C. The steam enters the turbine at more than twice the speed of sound. The aerodynamic body is made from carbon fibre composite and aluminium on a steel space-frame chassis.

While this car won’t translate into the next green steam sports car, the innovation that has gone into the design will spin off into many areas, from autoclaves to pressure systems. That said, it is tempting to wonder how well just one of those boilers might be adapted to drive an updated Stanley or Doble to make a lively quick starting road car.

Charles Burnett III summed up the the run while congratulating the crew, engineers and the whole team that made this possible by saying:

“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 150 mph. 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 perseveranceā€

The official record has stood since 1906, and while there have been individual runs, such as the 1985 ‘Steamin’ Demon’ the international measuring authority requires two runs in opposite directions within 60 minutes. Previous attempts have only managed one-way runs. Even so, the British team from Lymington achieved 150mph on one of the record-breaking runs.

The team will try to better the record tomorrow. For more information, see the UK Steam Car Club. Once the record attempts are over the car will be placed on permanent display at the UK National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.

British steam car challenge



Comment by Car Database

These Steam cars are looking beautiful. It’s features like fuel consuming are pretty good. Dream with these power steam Cars come true…

Posted on April 15, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Comment by Maryland

If it won’t look like the son of a locomotive and an airplane and if it would had more than one seat it might be driven on the public roads.

Posted on July 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Comment by jerry

This one, like most record breakers, is not designed for the road. However, knowledge gained from the project could one day find its way into automotive practice

Posted on July 13, 2010 at 6:43 pm

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