Sailing into the land speed record

Richard Jenkins, a British engineer, drove his way into the land speed record books driving his Greenbird car on the dry plains of Ivanpath Lake in Nevada. It has taken him 10 years of hard work to reach that 126.1 mph (202.9km/h) speed in order to break the old record of 116 mph set by Bob Schumacher in 1999.

The incredible thing about this record setter though was that it was completely powered by the wind. The Greenbird car used by Jenkins is almost completely a carbon fiber composite vehicle with the wing bearings and wheel unit being the only metal used.

Mr Jenkins, from Lymington, spent 10 years designing the vehicle, with Greenbird the fifth vehicle he has built to try to break the record.

Due to the shape of the craft, especially at such high speeds, the wings also provide lift; a useful trait for an aircraft, but very hazardous for a car. To compensate for this, the designers have added small wings to “stick” the car to the ground, in the same way Formula 1 cars do.

“Greenbird weighs 600kg when it’s standing still,” said Mr Jenkins. “But at speed, the effect of the wings make her weigh just over a tonne.”

Source: BBC News

Imagine how fast one of those things would go in Washington with all the hot air blowing around the city.