World Water Speed Record Challengers

The world water speed record (317mph or 511 km/h) is under assault from 3 teams. The defending world record holder, Ken Warby is up for the challenge, as are teams from the USA and the UK.

The USA and the UK were locked in a 58 year-old patriotic battle to capture the world water speed record until the Australian, Ken Warby, crashed the party and captured the record in 1977. His homemade, jet-propelled boat called Spirit of Australia achieved 288mph (463 km/h). Then, in 1978, he posted the current record of 317mph (511 km/h) in the same boat after overhauling his military-surplus jet engine to produce full thrust.

No discussion of water speed records is complete without mention of the Englishman, Donald Campbell – the most prolific world water speed record breaker of all time. His Bluebird K7, jet-propelled 3-point hydroplane successively raised the world water speed record 7 times between 1955 and 1964, from 178mph (287 km/h) to 276mph (444 km/h). His final attempt to break the 300mph barrier ended in his tragic death as he made his return run on Coniston Water, England. All subsequent attempts to break the record would adopt the jet-propelled, 3-point hydroplane design pioneered in Cambell's Bluebird K7.

Clearly these hydroplanes are not ordinary boats, sharing many characteristics with very low flying aircraft. In order to maximize speed, it is necessary to minimize the boat's drag. Given that water is approximately 800 times as dense as air, it takes 800 times more force to propel the same object at the same speed through water compared to air, due to drag. So you can see why these boats are designed for flying (or planing). A rudder at the rear and 2 sponsons (floats) with runners (small vertical fins) in the water qualify the craft as a boat and maintain some semblance of stability. I say some semblance of stability because these boats are notoriously unstable with the slightest disturbance in the water having catastrophic effects. Nearly 50% of the world water speed record attempts result in a fatality.

So what of these latest contenders?

Quicksilver

Quicksilver (UK) is a well organized, large team supported by sponsorship and fund raising activities. Their progress toward a record attempt in 2009 is progressing well, if slowly, through wind-tunnel and tow-tank tests. The team will use a Rolls-Royce Spey jet engine after purchasing a complete Blackburn Buccaneer airplane that also serves as their engine testbed. The team's initial design was conceived by Ken Norris who, with his brother Lewis, designed the Bluebird K7 for Donald Campbell.

American Challenge WSR

American Challenge WSR (USA) has a preliminary design concept that, according to its website, "...is being designed utilizing interactive 3D virtual prototypes in a CAD-neutral collaborative environment. Extensive fluid dynamic simulation, wind tunnel modeling, and water tank testing will also be employed."

Aussie Spirit

Aussie Spirit (Australia) is Ken Warby's homemade successor to his original record breaking Spirit of Australia boat. Of the 3 contenders, Warby's is the only one to have seen water in a successful test performed in June 2005. However, no more current news is available.

The well funded US and UK teams have access to advanced (and costly) Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) tools through sponsorship deals with CAE software vendors. Ken Warby follows the tradition of the hobbyist/inventor who has neither the time nor the resources to use current CAE tools. What if CAE tools were both affordable and easier to use for concept design analysis? I'm sure Ken and his fellow hobbyists would be willing to join the CAE party – having finally been invited!

Comments

water speed assaults

Canada's in the same race. A women pilot will b @ the control. jst 2 let u no. keep ur eyes open.

Demise of the Quicksilver Attempt

Has anyone spotted the London Gazette notices:

1 - Nigel Macknight (company MD and boat driver) has been declared bankrupt,

2 - The Quicksilver company itself is being struck off the British Companies House register and will soon no longer exist?

waterspeedrecord

I have a hull that can be on the water in a few months. We have a proven outrigger design with current ihba and sdba et records as well as the fastest propeller driven pass @ 270.2mph. Set up with a gas turbine and twin prop gearbox this hull will run for both records,(propeller and outright). Currently seaking sponsor $. we do not need to design engineer and test as we have a proven safety record with 4+ years on the track passes @ 250+mph. I have current sponsors for most components but need funding for the record. I am a 1 man garage operation that has an actual hull that can be seen at www.ellisonraceconcepts.com Thanks, Dan

Quicksilver WSR Ltd was

Quicksilver WSR Ltd was struck off as a company on 1st September 2009. A new company now appears to be in charge QWSR Ltd. Companies house return shows a two director limited funded company.

Is this project going to survive

Ken Warby, still the king on

Ken Warby, still the king on water, Ozzie Ozzie Ozze!

KEN WARBY

Ozzie Osborn is a burnout, so is Ken
Warby. After doing a little journalistic research, it is easy enough for anybody to prove that his
statement "I designed and built her
myself" was not true. 7 known hydroplane designers had collaborated the Spirit design that was built. Warby had given no input to that part of his claim.
During the build, there was always a design engineer present and
actually doing the internal structure
fabricating and construction. He did
not 'build it himself'.
Also he did not give $67.00 for the
engine as promoted, but rather $1,067.00.
Truth is, he has lost his nerve to
rechallenge and like Osborn lives in
the shadow of a past event that
was surrounded by non-truths, and chooses to stay stuck there in an environment of lies. How can a perpetual liar be held up as a hero?
Only by those not willing to do their own homework and dig out the truth.

test of time

[...] goodnuff what waterspeed record did you set didnt see you going over 300mph on the water and set a record which has stood the test of time i dont [care ...] if nasa built the boat and he piad 10 cents for the engine who cares all that matters is ken warby holds the fastest man on water title [...] talking about nerve try [...] strapping yourself into a 300 mph missile and then we will who has nerve [...]

[Edited for profanity]

Were are all these so called

Were are all these so called boats? I can have mine on the water within months with minor sponsorship. @ boats ready to go, 210 mph outboard outrigger and a 25' version for outright record.

RE: 'were are all...'

1st of all, learn to spell!

These "so-called 'boats'", as you will, are not your property. Why would you assume they would be left at your discretion?

If you feel this endeavor is that easy, put your money where your mouth is and get your "boat" out there and break that record!

JUST DO IT! Boats ready to go?!

So I mispelled a word ! Just

So I mispelled a word ! Just asking a question since it's been 10yrs of announcements.

Water speed record

Will there be any american boat to challenge the record ?????

American contender for world water speed record

YES IT WILL,....WE ARE WORKING ON IT....quietly......, it is a bit more engineering involved than you may think, ....just to strap a jet or rocket engine on a boat, it will get you killed like many others that tried already. One has to understand the physics involved and work with them not against them ....if you want to be successful and survive you have to think outside the box,......way outside! We will make a public anouncement after all the engineering is finished and the construction is in progress.
No we are not a "consortium of businessmen and engineers" like,... now defunct American Challenge,
we are just some normal people with a little comon sense,......and little help from the brightest aeronautical engineers in the country. No, you don't need a million dollars to make it happen.
Andy Munteanu, mach1enterprises@yahoo.com

World Water Speed Record

317.6 mph - Mr. Warby always insists on the .6 ;)

do you know or who has the

do you know or who has the list of current people trying to go for warbys record

New Zealand has a challenger

New Zealand has a challenger that is 8 months into it's build and looks like a very clever design, facebook Black Bird Water Speed Record.

I have written a book - 'The

I have written a book - 'The Fast and the Forgotten' on the history of the World Water Speed Record. Out in September.

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