Britain's Donald Campbell, holder of the world water speed record at 260.35 mph, was interviewed in London, May 17, on his land speed record attempt at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA, which he plans to undertake in September - in a gas turbine-powered "Bluebird" car.
Q. "Well, it's the same model, Mr. Campbell. But when is the car - is it going to be finished?"
A. "Well, it's about six weeks away now."
Q. "Now, what speed are you hoping to get out of her?"
A. "Well, she has an extremely high potential, but in the first place we are hoping to carry the land speed record to beyond 400."
Q. "How is he powered?"
A. "For the first time in such a venture by the Bristol Siddeley Proteus engine which is a turbine engine. Now this is not a jet but a free turbine where the power is taken out through all four road wheels."
Q. "How much research has this meant. Quite a lot I should think?"
A. "It has meant a tremendous amount. There is no standard component in this country. Every single component has had to be specially developed, tested and, well, of course designed in the first place, and this has involved a tremendous major effort of a representative section of British industry."
Q. "Can you give me any idea how much in man-hours for instance?"
A. "Well, it will be a long way over a million."
Q. "At these high speed I should think stopping is going to be as much a problem as anything else?"
A. "That's quite true. We have two types of brakes. First of all in the very high speed range, we use air brakes, and secondly and most important, the disc brakes, which have taken a long time to develop and which have got to do a tremendous - perform a tremendous task. In total, from 450 miles per hour, we have got something like 75 million foot pounds of energy to dissipate and we have got something like 60 seconds in which to do it."
Q. "That means how many miles?"
A. "Well, we have got about six miles."
Q. "Donald Campbell, you have stuck to the name Bluebird. Are you superstitious about that?"
A. "Well, superstitious indeed, and we have been trying to maintain a tradition because the name Bluebird was first adopted by my father in 1911 and, of course, after all these years it is something really you cannot break with."
Q. "Well, good luck to you. Thank you very much indeed."
A. "Thank you so much."
For silent coverage of Campbell plus car frame, engine and tyre research see accompanying prod. no. 3266.
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Background: Britain's Donald Campbell, holder of the world water speed record at 260.35 mph, was interviewed in London, May 17, on his land speed record attempt at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA, which he plans to undertake in September - in a gas turbine-powered "Bluebird" car.
Mr. Campbell had this to say about the forthcoming record bid (SOF):
Questioned later, Donald Campbell said he intends to retire from speed record activities after his September bid. He claims that at 40 he is "too old for this sort of thing."