British Steam-Powered Car to attempt to break 103 year old speed record
From across the "pond" comes word on a vehicle that, quite honestly, looks like something Luke Skywalker would take to work.
The British Steam Car is an almost $1 Million dollar attempt to break a 103 year old land speed record for steam powered vehicles. That 1906 record was an incredible 127 mph, in a Stanley Steamer. (No, not the carpet cleaners!) The British Steam car team hopes to better this record by reaching a speed of 170 mph.
After rigorous testing in the UK, the team will be shipping the car to the U.S. They are planning to use the dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, where the Shuttle sometimes lands. Although, word is Edwards has had a wetter than normal winter, so the bed may need to dry out. Where's global warming when we need it?
The Steam Car is a mixture of carbon-fiber composite and aluminum over a steel space frame chassis. Internally, it carries 12 boilers, and has almost 2 miles of tubing. De-mineralized water is pumped into the boilers at upwards of 50 liters a minute. The steam is heated to 400 degress Celsius. This can be accomplished because the water is under extreme pressure. The resulting steam is injected into turbines at over twice the speed of sound. The turbines drive the rear wheels. Even with the carbon-fiber and aluminum, this vehicle still tips the scales at 3 tons.
Check out the video below of a test run in the UK. The Steam Car may only have achieved a speed in this run of approximately 60 mph, but remember, it's running on steam!
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