Malcolm Campbell


Malcolm Campbell and Bluebird are names that automatically conjuer up images of speed.

Captain Malcolm Campbell was obsessed with the need to break speed limits and on 4th February 1927 he beat the international speed records for the flying mile and the flying kilometre in his Napier-Campbell car which had a 450hp Napier Aero Engine.

The run was made on Pendine Sands his mean speed for the kilometre was 174.883mph and for the mile 174.224mph.

The weather was perfect on the day of the attempt yet the day before it was described as Evil.

The day didn't start too well for Campbell at 2pm he ran the car down the slipway onto the sands and immediately went into a pool where it looked like he was going to sink.

Fortunately the spectators realised his predicament and pushed him onto firmer sand.

At 2.25 Campbell started the first of his runs a quarter of a mile he stopped his engine because of difficulty he was having in changing speed.

Goggles Blown Off

He then restarted and without returning to the arranged starting point he continued to run, this caused him to lose a little of the distance he needed to get up his speed. However during this run he covered the kilometre at a speed of 176.37mph and the mile at a speed of 179.158mph.

In the return run Campbell's goggles were blown off and this caused him to lose speed.

He covered the kilometre in an average of 173.029 mph and the mile at a speed of 169.550mph the record breaking figure was a mean of these figures.

Malcom Campbell became Sir Malcolm Campbell he broke the land speed record 9 times and the water speed record 4 times he sadly died in 1948 when his son Donald took over the record breaking Donald went on to set seven world water speed records in 1964 Donald set the World water speed record at 276mph on Lake Dumbleyung in Australia making him the only person to hold both water and land speed records at the same time his land speed record at that time was 403 also set in Australia at the dry lake Eyre Donald was killed on Coniston Water in the Lake District of England while attempting to smash the world water speed record on January 4 1967.

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