Land speed record

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ThrustSSC, driven by Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green, holds the land speed record.

The land speed record (or absolute land speed record) is the highest speed achieved by a person using a vehicle on land. There is no single body for validation and regulation; in practice the Category C ("Special Vehicles") flying start regulations are used, officiated by regional or national organizations under the auspices of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile.[1] The land speed record (LSR) is standardized as the speed over a course of fixed length, averaged over two runs (commonly called "passes").[2] Two runs are required in opposite directions within one hour, and a new record mark must exceed the previous one by at least one percent to be validated.[3]

History[edit]

The first regulators were the Automobile Club de France, who proclaimed themselves arbiters of the record in about 1902.[4]

Ralph DePalma in his Packard '905' Special at Daytona Beach in 1919

Different clubs had different standards and did not always recognize the same world records[5] until 1924, when the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus (AIACR) introduced new regulations: two passes in opposite directions (to negate the effects of wind) averaged with a maximum of 30 minutes (later more) between runs, average gradient of the racing surface not more than 1 percent, timing gear accurate within 0.01sec, and cars must be wheel-driven.[6] National or regional auto clubs (such as AAA and SCTA) had to be AIACR members to ensure records would be recognized.[7] The AIACR became the FIA in 1947. Controversy arose in 1963: Spirit of America was not recognized due to its being a three-wheeler (leading the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme to certify it as a three-wheel motorcycle record when the FIA refused) and not wheel-driven so the FIA introduced a special wheel-driven class.[8] No holder of the absolute record since has been wheel-driven

Women's land speed record[edit]

Dorothy Levitt, in a 26hp Napier, at Brooklands, England, in 1908

In 1906 Dorothy Levitt broke the women's world speed record for the flying kilometer, recording a speed of 91 mph (146.25 km/h) and receiving the sobriquet the "Fastest Girl on Earth". She drove a six-cylinder Napier motorcar, a 100 hp (74.6 kW) development of the K5, in a speed trial in Blackpool.[9][10][11] A subsequent record was held by Lee Breedlove, the wife of Craig Breedlove, who piloted her husband's Spirit of America - Sonic 1 to a record of 308.506 mph (496.492 km/h) in 1965, making her the fastest woman alive, as of 1974.[12] According to author Rachel Kushner, Craig Breedlove had talked Lee into taking the car out for a record attempt in order to monopolize the salt flats for the day and block one of his competitors from making a record attempt.[13]

The current women's absolute record is held by Kitty O'Neil, in the jet-powered SMI Motivator, set at the Alvord Desert in 1976.[14] O'Neil reached 512.710 mph (825.127 km/h).[15][16]

Records[edit]

1898–1965 (wheel-driven)[edit]

Date Location Driver Vehicle Power Speed over
1 km
Speed over
1 mile
Comments
mph km/h mph km/h
December 18, 1898 France Achères, France France Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat Jeantaud Duc[17] Electric 39.24 63.15 [18]
January 17, 1899 France Achères, France Belgium Camille Jenatzy[17] GCA Dogcart Electric 41.42 66.66 [18]
January 17, 1899 France Achères, France France Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat Jeantaud Duc Electric 43.93 70.31 [18]
January 27, 1899 France Achères, France Belgium Camille Jenatzy GCA Dogcart Electric 49.93 80.35 [18]
March 4, 1899 France Achères, France France Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat Jeantaud Duc Profilée Electric 57.65 92.78 [18]
April 29, 1899 France Achères, France Belgium Camille Jenatzy CITA No 25 La Jamais Contente Electric 65.79 105.88 First purpose designed land speed racer.[19] First record over 100 km/h (62 mph)[18]
April 13, 1902 France Nice, France France Léon Serpollet Gardner-Serpollet
Œuf de Pâques (Easter Egg)
Steam[4] 75.06 120.80
August 5, 1902 France Ablis, France United States William K. Vanderbilt Mors Z Paris-Vienne Internal combustion 76.03 122.438 First internal combustion powered record[4]
November 5, 1902 France Dourdan, France France Henri Fournier Mors Z Paris-Vienne Internal combustion
4-cylinder, 9.2 litre, 60 bhp
76.59 123.25 [20]
November 17, 1902 France Dourdan, France France Maurice Augières Mors Z Paris-Vienne Internal combustion 77.13 124.13 [18]
July 17, 1903 Belgium Ostend, Belgium Belgium Arthur Duray Gobron Brillié Paris-Madrid Internal combustion 83.46 132.32 [18]
Nov 5, 1903 France Dourdan, France Belgium Arthur Duray Gobron Brillié Paris-Madrid Internal combustion 84.73 136.35 [20]
January 12, 1904 United States New Baltimore, United States United States Henry Ford Ford 999 Racer Internal combustion 84.73 136.35 91.37 147.05 [21]
March 31, 1904 France Nice, France France Louis Rigolly Gobron-Brillié Paris-Madrid Internal combustion 94.78 152.53 [18]
May 25, 1904 Belgium Ostend, Belgium Belgium Pierre de Caters Mercedes Simplex 90 Internal combustion 97.25 156.50 [18]
July 21, 1904[20] Belgium Ostend, Belgium France Louis Rigolly Gobron-Brillié Gordon Bennett Internal combustion 103.56 166.66 First record over 100 mph (161 km/h)[18]
November 13, 1904 Belgium Ostend, Belgium France Paul Baras Darracq Gordon Bennett Internal combustion 104.53 168.22 [18]
December 30, 1905 France Arles, France France Victor Hémery Darracq Special Internal combustion 109.59 176.37 [18]
January 26, 1906 United States Daytona Beach, United States United States Fred Marriott Stanley Rocket[6] Steam 127.66 205.44 First record over 200 km/h (124 mph). First speed greater than contemporary rail speed record. Held record for steam powered vehicles 2009.[22]
November 6, 1909 United Kingdom Brooklands, United Kingdom France Victor Hémery Benz No 1
200 hp (150 kW)
Internal combustion:
21.5 L (1,310 cu in) inline-4 Benz engine
125.94 202.68 115.93 186.57 First run using electronic timing[6]
June 24, 1914 United Kingdom Brooklands, United Kingdom United Kingdom Lydston Hornsted Benz No 3
200 hp (150 kW)
Internal combustion:
21.5 L (1,310 cu in) inline-4 Benz engine
124.09 199.70 First 2-way record, set at Brooklands under new Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus (AIACR) 2-way rule[6]
May 17, 1922 United Kingdom Brooklands, United Kingdom United Kingdom Kenelm Lee Guinness Sunbeam 350 hp V12, single o.h.c, 18.3 litre,
350 b.h.p. engine
133.75 215.25 The third and last time the record was set at Brooklands[20]
July 6, 1924 France Arpajon, France France René Thomas Délage Internal combustion, V12, ohv, 10.6 litre, 280 bhp engine 143.31 230.634 [20]
July 12, 1924 France Arpajon, France United Kingdom Ernest Eldridge FIAT Mephistopheles Internal combustion:
21.7 L (1,320 cu in) inline-6 FIAT A.12 aero engine
145.89 234.98 Fastest land speed record ever on a public road[6]
September 25, 1924 United Kingdom Pendine, United Kingdom United Kingdom Malcolm Campbell Sunbeam 350HP Internal combustion:
18.3 L (1,120 cu in) V12 Sunbeam aero engine
146.16 235.22 First land speed record by Malcolm Campbell[23]
July 21, 1925 United Kingdom Pendine, United Kingdom United Kingdom Malcolm Campbell Sunbeam 350HP Internal combustion:
18.3 L (1,120 cu in) V12 Sunbeam aero engine
150.87 242.8 First person to travel over 150 mph (241 km/h)[23]
April 28, 1926 United Kingdom Pendine, United Kingdom United Kingdom Parry Thomas Babs Internal combustion:
27 L (1,600 cu in) V12 Liberty L-12 aero engine
170 273.6
February 4, 1927 United Kingdom Pendine, United Kingdom United Kingdom Malcolm Campbell Napier-Campbell Blue Bird Internal combustion:
22.3 L (1,360 cu in) W12 Napier Lion aero engine
174.88 281.44 [23]
March 29, 1927 United States Daytona Beach, United States United Kingdom Henry Segrave Mystery
(aka "Sunbeam 1000 hp")
Internal combustion:
2 x 22.4 L (1,370 cu in) V12 Sunbeam Matabele aero engines
203.79 327.97 The first car to reach a speed over 200 mph (320 km/h)[24]
February 19, 1928 United States Daytona Beach, United States United Kingdom Malcolm Campbell Napier-Campbell Blue Bird Internal combustion:
23.9 L (1,460 cu in) W12 Napier Lion aero engine
206.956 333.048 [7]
April 22, 1928 United States Daytona Beach, United States United States Ray Keech Triplex Special Internal combustion:
3 x 27 L (1,600 cu in) V12 Liberty L-12 aero engines
207.552 334.007 [25]
March 11, 1929 United States Daytona Beach, United States United Kingdom Henry Segrave Golden Arrow Internal combustion:
23.9 L (1,460 cu in) W12 Napier Lion aero engine
231.446 372.459 Segrave was knighted for this effort.[26]
February 5, 1931 United States Daytona Beach, United States[20] United Kingdom Malcolm Campbell Campbell-Napier-Railton Blue Bird Internal combustion:
23.9 L (1,460 cu in) W12 Napier Lion supercharged aero engine
246.09 396.025 Campbell was knighted for this effort.[26]
February 24, 1932 United States Daytona Beach, United States United Kingdom Malcolm Campbell Campbell-Napier-Railton Blue Bird Internal combustion:
23.9 L (1,460 cu in) W12 Napier Lion supercharged aero engine
253.97 408.73 First 250 mph (400 km/h) pass.[23]
February 22, 1933 United States Daytona Beach, United States United Kingdom Malcolm Campbell Campbell-Railton Blue Bird Internal combustion:
36.7 L (2,240 cu in) V12 Rolls-Royce R supercharged aero engine
272.46 438.48 [23]
March 7, 1935 United States Daytona Beach, United States United Kingdom Malcolm Campbell Campbell-Railton Blue Bird Internal combustion:
36.7 L (2,240 cu in) V12 Rolls-Royce R supercharged aero engine
276.816 445.472 [26]
September 3, 1935 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United Kingdom Malcolm Campbell Campbell-Railton Blue Bird Internal combustion:
36.7 L (2,240 cu in) V12 Rolls-Royce R supercharged aero engine
301.129 484.598 First 300 mph (480 km/h) pass, first absolute record set at Bonneville[26]
November 19, 1937 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United Kingdom George Eyston Thunderbolt Internal combustion:
2 x 36.7 L (2,240 cu in) V12 Rolls-Royce R supercharged aero engines
311.42 501.16 [26]
August 27, 1938 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United Kingdom George Eyston Thunderbolt Internal combustion:
2 x 36.7 L (2,240 cu in) V12 Rolls-Royce R supercharged aero engines
345.49[26] 556.012
15 September 1938 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United Kingdom John Cobb Railton Internal combustion:
2 x 23.9 L (1,460 cu in) W12 Napier Lion supercharged aero engines
350.2 563.566 [26]
September 16, 1938 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United Kingdom George Eyston Thunderbolt Internal combustion:
2 x 36.7 L (2,240 cu in) V12 Rolls-Royce R supercharged aero engines
357.5 575.314 [26]
August 23, 1939 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United Kingdom John Cobb Railton Special Internal combustion:
2 x 23.9 L (1,460 cu in) W12 Napier Lion supercharged aero engines
369.74[26] 595.04 367.91 592.091
September 16, 1947 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United Kingdom John Cobb Railton Mobil Special Internal combustion:
2 x 23.9 L (1,460 cu in) W12 Napier Lion supercharged aero engines
394.196[6] 634.397 394.19 634.39
September 9, 1960 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United States Mickey Thompson Challenger I Internal combustion:
4 x 6-71-supercharged Pontiac V8 engines
406.60 654.36
November 12, 1965 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United States Bob Summers Goldenrod Internal combustion:
4 x fuel injected Chrysler hemi V8 engines
409.277 658.526 Piston-engined record with modified regular production automotive engines

1963–present (jet and rocket propulsion)[edit]

Craig Breedlove's mark of 407.447 miles per hour (655.722 km/h),[8][27] set in Spirit of America in September 1963, was initially considered unofficial. The vehicle breached the FIA regulations on two grounds: it had only three wheels, and it was not wheel-driven, since its jet engine did not supply power to its axles. Some time later, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme created a non-wheel-driven category, and ratified Spirit of America's time for this mark.[8] On July 27, 1964, Donald Campbell's Bluebird CN7 posted a speed of 403.10 miles per hour (648.73 km/h) on Lake Eyre, Australia. This became the official FIA LSR, although Campbell was disappointed not to have beaten Breedlove's time.[28] In October, several four-wheel jet-cars surpassed the 1963 mark, but were eligible for neither FIA nor FIM ratification.[28] The confusion of having three different LSRs lasted until December 11, 1964, when the FIA and FIM met in Paris and agreed to recognize as an absolute LSR the higher speed recorded by either body, by any vehicles running on wheels, whether wheel-driven or not.[29] Thus, Art Arfons' Green Monster was belatedly recognized as the absolute LSR holder, Bluebird the holder of the wheel-driven land speed record, and Spirit of America the tricycle record holder. No wheel-driven car has since held the absolute record.

Date Location Driver Vehicle Power Speed over
1 km
Speed over
1 mile
Comments
mph km/h mph km/h
August 5, 1963 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United States Craig Breedlove Spirit of America Turbojet 407.447 655.722 [8][27] Initially considered unofficial since the machine had 3 wheels. Later ratified by FIM.
October 2, 1964 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United States Tom Green Wingfoot Express Turbojet 413.2 665.0 [8]
October 5, 1964 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United States Art Arfons Green Monster Turbojet 434.03 698.50 [8]
October 13, 1964 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United States Craig Breedlove Spirit of America Turbojet 468.719 754.330 [18]
October 15, 1964 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United States Craig Breedlove Spirit of America Turbojet 526.277 846.961 [18]
October 27, 1964 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United States Art Arfons Green Monster Turbojet 536.710 863.751 [18]
November 2, 1965 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United States Craig Breedlove Spirit of America - Sonic 1 Turbojet 555.485 893.966 555.485 893.966 [30]
November 7, 1965 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United States Art Arfons Green Monster Turbojet 576.553 927.872 576.553 927.872 [18]
November 15, 1965 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United States Craig Breedlove Spirit of America - Sonic 1 Turbojet 594 955.950 600.601 966.574 [31]
October 23, 1970 United States Bonneville Salt Flats, United States United States Gary Gabelich Blue Flame Rocket 630.478 1014.656 622.407 1001.667 [32]
October 4, 1983 United States Black Rock Desert, United States United Kingdom Richard Noble Thrust2 Turbojet: 1 x Rolls-Royce Avon 634.051 1020.406 633.47 1019.47 [32]
September 25, 1997 United States Black Rock Desert, United States United Kingdom Andy Green ThrustSSC Turbofan: 2 x Rolls-Royce Spey 713.990 1149.055 714.144 1149.303 [32]
October 15, 1997 United States Black Rock Desert, United States United Kingdom Andy Green ThrustSSC Turbofan: 2 x Rolls-Royce Spey 760.343 1223.657 763.035 1227.986[33] First supersonic LSR

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FIA land speed records". FIA. Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
  2. ^ Regulations for Record Attempts - CHAPTER 2 Archived November 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. - FIA
  3. ^ "§105. Conditions for the recognition of international or world records". Sporting Code: Chapter 7: Records. FIA. Archived from the original on 2008-12-21. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
  4. ^ a b c Northey, Tom (1974). "Land Speed Record: The Fastest Men on Earth". In Ian Ward. World of Automobiles. Vol. 10. London: Orbis. p. 1162.
  5. ^ Martin, James A.; Thomas F. Saal (2004). "Ch 17: Land Speed Record to 1939". American Auto Racing: The Milestones and Personalities of a Century of Speed. McFarland. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-7864-1235-8.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Northey, p.1163.
  7. ^ a b Northey, p.1164.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Northey, p.1166.
  9. ^ Hull, Peter G. "Napier: The Stradivarius of the Road", in Northey, Tom, ed. The World of Automobiles (London: Orbis, 1974), Volume 13, p.1483.
  10. ^ G.N. Georgano Cars: Early and Vintage, 1886–1930. (London: Grange-Universal, 1985).
  11. ^ "Women in Motorsport - Timeline". Btinternet.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  12. ^ Twite, Mike. (1974), "Breedlove: Towards the sound barrier", World of Automobiles, Orbis Publishing, 2: 231
  13. ^ "Knowingly Navigating the Unknown Archived October 31, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.", Maria Russo, The New York Times, May 7, 2013
  14. ^ Ellen Jares, Sue. "The Renaissance Woman of Danger—That's Tiny Kitty O'Neil". People. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  15. ^ Phinizy, Coles. "A Rocket Ride To Glory And Gloom". SI Vault. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Deaf stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil sets women's land-speed record". History. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  17. ^ a b Northey, p.1161.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q http://www.landspeedrecord.org/speed-records/
  19. ^ https://gizmodo.com/the-blazing-fast-evolution-of-land-speed-record-cars-1604716513
  20. ^ a b c d e f Posthumus, Cyril. Land Speed Record: A complete history of the record-breaking cars from 39 to 600+ mph (Osprey Publishing, Reading, 1971)
  21. ^ Cars Against the Clock, The World Land Speed Record, Robert B. Jackson (New York, Henry Z. Walck, Inc.), p.19, ISBN 0-8098-2078-1
  22. ^ [1] - The British Steam Car Challenge
  23. ^ a b c d e Scott A. G. M. Crawford, "Campbell, Sir Malcolm (1885–1948)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2011 accessed 20 April 2013
  24. ^ Holthusen, Peter J.R. (1986). The Land Speed Record ISBN 0-85429-499-6
  25. ^ Northey, Tom (1974). "Land Speed Record: The Fastest Men on Earth". In Tom Northey. World of Automobiles. Vol. 10 (London: Orbis), pp.1164-5.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i Northey, p.1165.
  27. ^ a b Twite, Mike. "Craig Breedlove: Toward the Sound Barrier", in World of Automobiles (Volume 2, p.231).
  28. ^ a b http://www.bloodhound-risbridger.com/Land-Speed-Record-History/
  29. ^ "from our motoring correspondent" (December 12, 1964). "Land Speed Record Agreement". The Times (Issue 56193). p. 7, col E.
  30. ^ Cars Against the Clock, The Fastest Men on Earth, Clifton, Paul, New York, The John Day Company, page 238, L.C. 66-15097
  31. ^ Spirit of America, Breedlove, Craig, Chicago, Illinois, Henry Regnery Company, pages 183-184, L.C. 71-143833
  32. ^ a b c "FIA land speed records, Cat C" (PDF). FIA. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
  33. ^ "Introduction". FIA. Archived from the original on 30 December 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
  34. ^ "June 2016 Newsletter". Retrieved 4 July 2016.

External links[edit]