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Bluebird K3 runs again!


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#1 f1steveuk

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 16:29

Sorry for the lateness of this, but after many years of work, the 1937 Blue Bird K3 of Sir Malcolm Campbell has run under power again.

http://www.k3bluebir...n...3&Itemid=16

(you may have to copy and paste this link)

Having spent many hours crawling around the hull when I worked at Filching Manor, it's been a long time coming, but great to see.

Not a great deal has been replaced, at the start of the project, we made the decision that we should retain as much original material as possible, and I know, even after l left, this has remained the case, and the project crew is more or less the same. Karl has done his father proud, and without the Halbard's equivalent of Leo Villa, Andy Taylor, it would have taken even long.

I am really hoping to go to the next test!!

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#2 kartman24

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 19:52

Great work, look foward to seeing a video of it?............Martin

#3 Gary C

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 20:45

nice! We should have been producing the video of that, Steve !

#4 arttidesco

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 21:13

A handy bit of kit if you want to cross water at speed :up:

#5 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 02:24

It seems they will require a bigger lake. Even at fairly low speeds they will run out of water quickly.
Congratulations on the resurection.

#6 f1steveuk

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 12:28

Karl is working with a film crew, and tells me there is some awesome on board.

She planes at quite a low speed, and becomes a real handful at high speed, so I suspect, Karl will keep the speeds reasonable!!

#7 AAGR

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 19:24

My memory is playing tricks. The R-Type engine is a Rolls-Royce V12, right ? Similar but by no means the same as the Merlin, right ? With a much bigger cubic capacity than the Merlin, right ? But shared quite a lot of its heritage with the Grufion which really succeeded the Merlin in the mid-1940s, right ?

Do tell ....

AAGR




#8 Radoye

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 02:01

My memory is playing tricks. The R-Type engine is a Rolls-Royce V12, right ? Similar but by no means the same as the Merlin, right ? With a much bigger cubic capacity than the Merlin, right ? But shared quite a lot of its heritage with the Grufion which really succeeded the Merlin in the mid-1940s, right ?


The Merlin was developed from R engine (mechanically very similar but overall smaller).

The Griffon which superseded Merlin in service was a completely unrelated development.

There was another experimental "Griffon" engine that was basically same as R type just modified with military service and not racing in mind, this went nowhere.

#9 f1steveuk

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 10:01

The R was developed from the 37 litre Buzzard engine. 24 were built. The last two became the prototype Griffon, which remained about 37 litres. Filching has R37. This was the 301 mph engine from the Blue Bird land speed record of 1935. I K3, but Sir Malcolm boiled it!

The Merlin was actually the result in a 27% (I think) reduction in the R type drawings to produce a smaller engine of 27 litres. The engine in K3 is now a Rover Meteor, which is a Merlin with the supercharger taken off, and a starter put in it's place. Rols-Royce and Rover swapped projects after the war,as Rover were building gas turbines, and Rolls' tank engines, which the Meteor is (a Churchill).

I had a happy six months going through the Rolls-Royce Heritage archive to do a chapter on the R, a fantastic bit of kit!!

#10 Odseybod

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 10:22

And the R was also used in the Supermarine S6 and S6B Schneider Trophy aircraft, of course.

#11 f1steveuk

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 10:36

And the R was also used in the Supermarine S6 and S6B Schneider Trophy aircraft, of course.



Oh yes, R25 took the air speed record, and R 27 won the final Schneider Trophy competition, both were then fitted in Eyston's Thunderbolt and took the land speed record, and are, along with R37, the only remaining engines.

Miss England II took the water speed record with R17 and R19, 17 being the rarest of R Types as it was the only left hand tractor.

Karl has said he would like to restore R7, and run K3 with that engine, but there was only ever one R Type tool kit, which went missing after Eyston used it. I had to make loads of tools to do a minor strip down and clean. At some time R37 was grit blasted, and although she turned, it sounded gritty, so it would be a massive expense, plus R37 runs on quite an exotic fuel mix, so I think it's unlikely, though not impossible. A Type 65 Griffon would be a pretty good one to go for, but offers little that the Meteor can't already do.

#12 bradbury west

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:03

See link today ;
http://www.dailymail...ored-glory.html
Roger Lund

#13 f1steveuk

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 06:43

See link today ;
http://www.dailymail...ored-glory.html
Roger Lund



Great to see, but the usual bad reporting! How is Donald driving K3 in 1937, and they completely ignore Eyston in the other picture, still some coverage is better than none!

#14 Vitesse2

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 10:34

Great to see, but the usual bad reporting! How is Donald driving K3 in 1937, and they completely ignore Eyston in the other picture, still some coverage is better than none!

I think that's the nearest I've ever seen to a picture of George Eyston actually smiling! I've always had the impression he had an intense dislike of being photographed.

#15 Mal9444

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 11:53

... still some coverage is better than none!

From Saturday's Daily Telegraph Motoring section Goodwood Revival preview:
'Bluebird K3
'The original Bluebird K3 Land Speed Record hydroplane powerboat will make its Goodwood debut...'



#16 D-Type

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 12:48

I hope it isn't going to be that wet! Mind you, it might have managed a lap during last year's TT.