Ever since the inception of the first ever automobile in 1768, automobile manufacturers have focused on a lot of aspects like comfort, efficiency, emissions, safety and styling but, ever since the beginning, the major focus has remained on making the car go fast. People have been trying to break land speed records since 1898 when the first record was created by Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat (1867 - November 20, 1903) in his Jeantaud Duc hitting 92.78 Km/hr. Many have been successful but a lot more have failed and some even paid with their life trying to be the fastest man on land.
Here is a list of top 10 Land speed records in various categories of automobiles.
10. Solar Powered : 88.8 Km/hr
Barton Mawer holds the land speed record in this category since 7 Jan 2011. The record was created in the Sunswift IV "IVy". He recorded a speed of 88.8 Km/hr.
The vehicle is 4.6 metres long, 1.8 metres wide, 0.93 metres high and weighs 165 kilograms. The car runs on a single, rear wheel, brushless, synchronous DC motor with permanent magnets.
9. Human Powered : 133.78 Km/hr
Sebastiaan Bowier holds the land speed record in this category since 14 Sep, 2013. The record was created in the VeloX3 over a 200 metres stretch of road in Battle Mountain, Nevada. He recorded a speed of 133.78 Km/hr breaking the previous record set by Canadian Sam Whittingham in 2009 by just 0.6 kilometres per hour.
8. Wind Powered: 203.09 Km/hr
Richard Jenkins holds the land speed record in this category since 26 Mar 2009. The record was created in the Ecotricity Greenbird in the dry Ivanpah Lake. He recorded a speed of 203.09 Km/hr.
The Ecotricity Greenbird is a land yacht which weighs around 600 Kg and uses a rigid vertical wing, instead of a sail to generate thrust. The only metal in the vehicle is in the wing bearings and wheels, the remainder is made of carbon composite materials.
7. Steam Powered: 225.06 Km/hr
Charles Burnett III holds the land speed record in the electric category since 25 Aug, 2009. The record was created in the Inspiration in Edwards Air Force Base, California, United States. He recorded a speed of 225.06 Km/hr breaking a record set just one day before which broke the old record set in 1906 by Fred Marriott in the Stanley Steamer.
The Inspiration is 7.6 m long, 1.7 m wide and weighs 3 tons. Powering the car is a two-stage turbine driven by superheated steam from 12 boilers having distilled water. The boilers are heated by burning Liquid Petroleum Gas in burners which produce 3 Megawatts of heat. The steam produced is at 400 °C and a pressure of 4000 kN/m2. The engine develops 360 hp and consumes around 40 litres of water every minute.
6. Radio-controlled car : 325.12 Km/hr
Nic Case holds the land speed record in this category since 25 Oct, 2014. The record was created in the RC Bullet. He recorded a speed of 325.12 Km/hr in Saint George, Utah, USA.
5. Electric : 495.140 Km/hr
Roger Schroer holds the land speed record in the electric category since 24 Aug, 2010. The record was created in the Buckeye Bullet 2.5. He recorded a speed of 495.140 Km/hr.
4. Diesel Powered : 563.995 Km/hr
Wing Commander Andy D. Green holds the land speed record in the this category since 23 Aug, 2006. The record was created in the JCB DieselMax recording a speed of 563.995 Km/hr.
After attaining an average speed of 529.099 km/h during two runs on the Bonneville Salt Flats, Green again went out the next day and broke his own record, achieving a speed of 563.995 km/h on 23 August, 2006.
The car houses two specially tuned versions of JCB444 engine which produce 750 BHP each. The engines have 5000 cc, four cylinders, two stage turbochargers, intercooler and an aftercooler. One drives the front wheels and the other drives the rear wheels. Each engine is rev-limited to 3800 rpm.
3. Motorcycle : 634.217 km/h
Rocky Robinson holds the land speed record in this category since 25 Sep, 2010.
The record was created on the Ack Attack Bike in Bonneville, USA. He recorded an average speed of 605.697 Km/hr on a two-way trip. The Ack Attack's fastest one-way speed is recorded at 634.217 km/h. The motorcycle is powered by two 1,299 cc Suzuki Hayabusa engines equipped with a Garrett turbocharger. Intercooled with dry ice, the bike produces more than 900 horsepower.
2. Wheel Driven : 757.106 Km/hr
(Wheel-driven cars are different from absolute land speed record vehicles as they require the vehicle to be wheel-driven. Use of jet or rocket engines is permitted as long as they drive the wheels.)
Don Vesco (April 8, 1939–December 16, 2002) holds the land speed record in this category since October 18, 2001. The record was created in his Vesco Turbinator car in Bonneville Salt Flats, USA.
He recorded 757.106 Km/hr over a stretch of 1 mile beating the previous record of 659.796 Km/hr on September 25, 1997.
The Vesco Turbinator was powered by a 4400 HP, 16,500 rpm internal combustion engine which drove all the 4 wheels.
1. Jet and Rocket Propulsion : 1227.986 Km/hr
Wing Commander Andy D. Green holds the land speed record in this category since October 15, 1997. The record was created in the ThrustSSC or Thrust supersonic car in Black Rock Desert, USA.
He recorded 1227.986 Km/hr over a stretch of 1 mile beating his own record of 1149.303 Km/hr on September 25, 1997 making it the only supersonic LSR.
The car ThrustSSC is 16.5 m long, 3.7 m wide and weighs an astonishing 10.5 tons. The twin engines develop a power output of 110,000 bhp and 223 kN of thrust. The vehicle burns around 18 litres of fuel per second giving a mileage of 55 L/km.
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