Video: The Vesco Turbinator II Cracks the 500-MPH Barrier at the Bonneville Salt Flats!
Have you had your daily dose of speed yet?by Jonathan Lopez, on
Things are getting pretty wild these days in the world of ultimate velocity record runs. The latest comes from the Bonneville Salt Flats World Finals, held earlier this month on October 2nd, in which the above-featured turbine-driven rail managed to eclipse the current world top speed record for a wheel-driven vehicle.
Pushing The Limits
At a little under 3 minutes in length, the video is brief and to the point, but throws in all the good stuff you’d want.
As a brief recap of the Turbinator II’s run, the video includes shots inside the cockpit and behind the vehicle, as well as an exterior shot showing it traversing the salt during its run. There’s also some onboard telemetry to give you an idea just how fast this thing is moving.
Rick Vesco is the man behind the project, and this latest iteration draws motivation from a Lycoming T55 Turbine engine sourced from a helicopter. This impressive lump of go sends its power to all four wheels, which makes the Turbinator II a contender for the fastest wheel-driven vehicle in the world. That puts it in a different class from, say, the Bloodhound SSC, which uses both a rocket and a jet engine for propulsion.
Seeing this thing get up to speed as the turbine engine whirs away at ever-increasing rpm is pretty exciting.
At around 350 mph, the vehicle starts to vibrate, and it’s clearly moving into uncharted waters.
At the end of its run, the Turbinator II hits the speed traps at an astonishing 503.332 mph, effectively becoming the fastest wheel-driven vehicle in the world, besting the current standing record of 482.6 mph established earlier this year.
Of course, it bears mentioning that this 503-mph run isn’t an official record, as the vehicle wasn’t driven in the opposite direction due to concerns over wet weather conditions. To make it official, a run in the opposite direction is required to accommodate for wind, slope, and any other factor that may have contribute to overall velocity.
Regardless, seeing this thing at full chat is a mighty thing to behold. Hit play and see it for yourself.