British engineer smashes world land speed record for wind-powered vehicles

March 28th, 2009 - 12:57 pm ICT by ANI  

London, March 28 (ANI): Richard Jenkins, a British engineer, has smashed the world land speed record for wind powered vehicles, by clocking 126.1 mph (miles per hour) in the Ecotricity Greenbird.

According to a report in the Telegraph, Jenkins beat the previous American-held record of 116mph, which was set by Bob Schumacher in the Iron Duck almost 10 years ago to the day at the same location.

The fifth-generation Greenbird, which Jenkins designed and built on his 10-year quest to beat the record, uses a combination of technology normally found in aircraft and Formula 1 cars.

Jenkins clocked 126.1 mph in the Ecotricity Greenbird, harnessing winds of just 30 mph in the futuristic vehicle.

The Greenbird, which looks like a stretched missile with a giant fin, set the top speed on the dry bed of Lake Ivanpah on the border of California and Nevada in the US.

“It has been an incredibly difficult challenge,” said Jenkins.

“Half the challenge is technical, having to create a more efficient vehicle than the previous record holder, then the rest is luck, being in the right place, at the right time, to get the perfect conditions, with the right people watching,” he added.

According to Jenkins, “I must have been on record standby at some remote location around the world for at least two months of every year for the past 10 years.”

“Everything came together perfectly and the Greenbird stepped up to the mark and performed amazingly. I am absolutely delighted,” he said.

The record was broken 35 miles south west of Las Vegas in a 30mph north westerly wind, with the vehicle using the two-mile lake to reach maximum speed.

Under the rules, the vehicle must not carry any stored energy, must run on a natural surface and must start from rest with no assistance other than a human push.

“Today’s record is an amazing achievement. It shows what is achievable with great British engineering and the power of the wind,” founder Dale Vince said.

“In the next 20 years, I firmly believe that wind power will be our main energy source and wind-powered cars will no longer be the stuff of dreams,” he added. (ANI)

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