We’ve been harping about world records on this site for a little while now. It’s not because we’ve suddenly developed a fascination for them, but because we’ve always been on the look-out for records like this.
One record that seems to continually pop up recently is the land speed record for an electric car. And just as it always comes up in conversations, somebody is trying to take a shot at beating it. The latest attempt we’ve heard about comes from the Bluebird Team, a team of engineers and drivers building a car - the Bluebird Electric - with the hopes of breaking the top speed record for an electric car. Headed by land-speed racing veteran Don Wales, the Bluebird Team is looking at breaking 500 mph in the Bluebird Electric, a notable feat considering that the current record only sits at 307 mph, which, incidentally, was set just a year ago.
Despite the lofty goals being set by the team, the work done to jump start the entire project is still in its infancy stages. The dream is there; the money, unfortunately, isn’t.
"I have a team of 30 people requiring accommodation and feeding and volunteers are needed to help as course marshals and fodders, " Wales said in a statement. "Without a principal sponsor as yet, the development of the car is taking all of what limited budget we have".
Lack of money notwithstanding, the Bluebird Team is still pushing forward with their goal. As part of their testing, the team took the car to the Pendine Sands in Wales on July 2 and 3 for some testing.
If anybody’s interested in giving these guys a hand through donations, you can do so by contacting Rebecca Nicholls on her email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE 07/19/11: Bluebird Electric’s record speed runs has finally been penciled in at the calendar. The dates have been set on the weekend of August 13 and 14 at the Pendine Sands, South Wales. Circle the date, folks!
Learn more about the Bluebird Team and their BlueBird Electric Car after the jump.
For over 100 years, the Campbell family name has been synonymous with land and water speed records. This dates back to when Sir Malcolm Campbell first coined the moniker ’Bluebird’ on his race car, beginning a long history breaking records that would go on down to the family tree.
In the 100 years that it has been rewriting history, the Campbell family - beginning with Malcolm Campbell going down to his son Donald Campbell and grandson Don Wales - has established over 30 land and water speed records. These records include some of their more recent accomplishments such as the UK land speed record for an electric car in 1998, the breaking of that record in 2000, and the world record for a lawn mower just last year.
With Wales having his sights set on once again eclipsing the land speed record for an electric car, there seems to be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the record is his to break. After all, if you come from a family that has made its name in breaking previous marks left and right, doubting them should be the least of your worries.
The 2011 Car
For his latest attempt, Don Wales will be using the same Bluebird Electric Car that already has eight UK Electric Land Speed Record under its name. The Bluebird Team is working extra hard to further test and develop the car while trying to tinker with new ways in putting in new battery technologies and drive units to ensure that the project is capable of running at speeds in excess of 500 mph.
Car specifications for the car include a chassis made from a steel tubular space frame with a GRP/aluminum body. It measures 21 ft long, four feet wide, and has a weight 860 kg (1895 lbs). The car is powered by two rear-wheel direct drive motors weighing in at 13kg with 48 batteries that delivers 600 volts. All in all, the car produces 135 horsepower and 52 lb/ft of torque that can achieve over 20,000 rpm through 6:1 epicyclic reduction gearboxes.
Currently, the new Bluebird Electric Car is being placed under the proverbial operating table to retool some of its components, including the chassis, the body, and the tires, before it begins its latest phase of testing and development that’s set to begin later this summer.
The Bluebird Electric Car Drops When?
As it stands right now, the Bluebird Electric Car is being prepped for a speed trial on July 2 and 3 at the Pendine Sands in the UK. While this event is merely considered as speed trials, the team is still hoping - check that: expecting - to build on its record it currently holds for being the UK’s fastest electric car.