Steam-powered British supercar sets out to break 100-year-old land-speed record!
A plucky band of British enthusiasts are gearing up to break a 100-year-old land speed record in a 21st century steam-powered supercar. They are aiming to break the existing 127mph record in a 25-foot-long vehicle they have already dubbed ‘the fastest kettle in the world’. Designed to top 200mph, the supercar is attempting a record which has stood since 1906. The new British 21st century challenger is a sleek, streamlined car weighing just over three tons.
The vehicle is a mixture of lightweight carbon-fibre composite and aluminium wrapped around a steel space frame chassis. It is fitted with 12 boilers containing nearly two miles of tubing. Like a giant kettle on a camper stove, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) held in on-board tanks in the supercar is ignited to fire up burners producing three megawatts of heat – equivalent to 1,500 domestic kettles and capable producing 9,000 cups of tea. This is used to heat 140 litres of distilled water which produces steam under pressure. The distilled water is pumped into the boilers at the rate of 50 litres a minute, where steam is superheated to 400C and injected into the vehicles turbine at more than twice the speed of sound.
The sheer force produces the thrust that will propel it from rest to more than 200mph – pouring a jet of white condensed steam out of the back like an angry kettle. The vehicle even incorporates the elements from two real kettles, used to warm up the liquid petroleum gas used to fire up the boilers. Massive Goodyear tyres and disc brakes bring it back to a stop – with a parachute system just in case. The actual record attempt is to take place on a dry lake bed on land at Edward’s Air force Base in California’s Mojave Desert in June, the scene of space shuttle flights and the base for countless military operations.