British team all set to attempt new world steam-powered land speed record

April 13th, 2009 - 2:11 pm ICT by ANI  

London, April 13 (ANI): The British Steam Car Challenge team is all set to attempt a new world steam-powered land speed record, following successful tests last week.

According to a report in New Scientist, the project, which is designed to raise awareness of clean-burning fuels, is aiming to reach 270 kilometers per hour with its steam car later this year.

In doing so, it would break the world record of 204 kilometers per hour set by the American Stanley Steamer in 1906.

The car itself is 8.5 meters long and weighs 3 tonnes.

It is powered by demineralised water, which is pumped into a dozen 250-kilowatt boilers - equivalent to about 1200 electric kettles. These provide steam to a 268-kilowatt turbine that drives the rear wheels.

Following tests at Thorney Island airfield in Hampshire, UK, in which the car reached 130 kilometers per hour, the team is now awaiting final clearance from Edwards Air Force Base in California to use Rogers Dry Lake for the record bid.

The advantage of the dry lake is that it is 600 meters lower than Utah’s famous Bonneville Salt Flats, so there is more oxygen available for the boilers, enabling the car to develop much more power.

The team hopes to be on site when the lake dries out in May. (ANI)

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