Edwards Air Force Base, CA – A British team will today make another speed record attempt with its steam-powered supercar.
Yesterday, the team made its first official attempt at the record,but decided to abort the second run after a slight problem with the throttle was detected. It is understood that the throttle was letting water through the turbine rather than bypassing it.
The new vehicle – dubbed ‘the fastest steam-kettle in the world – has been recorded at 137.14mph in tests, but the developers are aiming for 170mph.
If the team fails to break the record, they’ll carry on trying until August 22.
The British Steam Car is made from a mixture of lightweight carbon-fibre composite and aluminium wrapped around a steel space frame chassis, but still weighs about three tons.
Using Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), the car has 12 boilers, into which demineralised water is pumped. The burners produce 3MW of heat, used to superheat steam to 400C.
The current record has stood for a long time – it was set in 1906 by American Fred Mariott in a Stanley steam car at 127mph. In 1985, an unofficial attempt by the Barber-Nicholls team clocked 145mph.