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Bluebird - which party is missing the point?


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#251 Pullman99

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 12:03

I can categorically say that what has been done to K7 is NOT conservation; it is reconstruction, which is something else.


I think that is why The Bluebird Project has consistently used the term "rebuild". This subject has divided opinion from the beginning, but there are many positives. The recovery of the wreck has allowed a complete crash investigation to take place; something that was not possible before and an aspect of this saga that the late Ken Norris was very keen to see take place. It was also his view that the wreck should have been recovered immediately after the accident. In that case, however, it is unlikely that the boat would still exist in any form. Many of the smaller (and some not so small) artefacts that were recovered immediately afterwards have disappeared from view - or are currently inaccessible - including the sponsons.

I fully accept and respect your views and these are very much shared by others. I too have a museum background and was deeply concerned by the whole issue when the events of 2001 unfolded. I think that it probably represents one of the most challenging, controversial and technically complex projects ever undertaken in transport preservation. For myself, I think that the best way of considering the rebuilding of K7 is to treat it as a very special case and, although there are parallels within the motorsport world (debating whether or not to rebuild a vehicle after a driver fatality), it is unlikely that the particular circumstances pertaining to this project will ever be repeated elselwhere. I am not sure if Vicky Slowe, the Curator of The Ruskin Museum, has entered into this debate but I do know that she and the team at Coniston remain totally enthusiastic and are clearly looking forward to Bluebird's return. On a personal level, I remain convinced that the course of action being followed here was really the only solution given that the wreck was raised in the first place.

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#252 f1steveuk

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 13:10

I was a curator (well I still have te qaulification as well, just don't do it as a job anymore), and if you go back through the thread, you'll I proposed something quite similar to preserve what remains of K7, but as I have said before, the decision to rebuild was taken by the family, trust and recovery team.

#253 Morris S

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 13:40

On a personal level, I remain convinced that the course of action being followed here was really the only solution given that the wreck was raised in the first place.


It's an interesting discussion but I'd disagree there, I think a working replica could and should have been built
with the original left as it was discovered. As a parallel can you imagine the reaction to the restoration and subsequent racing of Senna's FW16 ?

#254 LotusElise

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 16:26

I was a curator (well I still have te qaulification as well, just don't do it as a job anymore), and if you go back through the thread, you'll I proposed something quite similar to preserve what remains of K7, but as I have said before, the decision to rebuild was taken by the family, trust and recovery team.


Sorry, the thread is a bit long. I didn't mean to overlook you.

Were you a curator in the automotive field, or in someting else?

#255 f1steveuk

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 16:42

Sorry, the thread is a bit long. I didn't mean to overlook you.

Were you a curator in the automotive field, or in someting else?



Mainly automotive, with the odd flit into aviation!! And I don't feel in the slightest overlooked!

#256 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 18:21

Here in Cumbria you will find there is huge support for the project, the reconstruction, the running of the boat and the museum.

#257 sheppane

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 09:20

Thanks for offering a Project opinion.

I'm not going to stay and argue much here, as this forum does not need to get bogged down with academic arguments. However, as a working archaeologist with a good knowledge of conservation theory, I can categorically say that what has been done to K7 is NOT conservation; it is reconstruction, which is something else.
The aims of conservation are to consolidate, to prevent further degradation, and often to prepare for display, sympathetically. Modern conservation endeavours to respect the final fate of an object as part of its history - in the case of K7, a very well-known history. The example you give of the Marie Rose is actually a good example of sympathetic conservation.

Conserving K7 in the modern sense would have involved dealing with oxidisation, and the use of structural fills where necessary to prevent the further collapse of the panels. Every process used, as far as possible, would be reversible.

Modern museum displays in the UK are now moving away from absolute reconstructions, instead favouring reconstructions of the way in which the objects themselves were found. It is also becoming more common to be sensitive to cultural perceptions of death.
If I were the curator in charge of this display, I would have had one room with a Bluebird display, including a replica, video footage on screens, models, and carefully chosen Campbell artefacts. The conserved wreck itself would be laid out in a separate room, to allow those who do not wish to look to avoid it. Lighting would be low, for conservation reasons, and to encourage an atmosphere of quiet, and signage would be kept to a minimum.

Having said that, I am not a curator (yet) and this is only my informed opinion.


Thank you for your contribution. Display of the wreck was not an option acceptable to the Campbell family. Full stop.

Bill and his team are doing a superb job, and have total, but not blind respect for Donald Campbell and Bluebird K7.

Neil Sheppard


#258 Pullman99

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 09:15

Today is the 44th anniversary of Donald Campbell's tragic accident on Coniston Water in Bluebird K7 on the 4th January 1967

I know that there are quite a few TNFrs who are following progress on K7's rebuild and the Project reports that there has been a tremendous surge in interest in both the rebuild and the Donald Campbell story as a result of the recent Sky News documentary that has had several showings from 24th December 2010.

For the latest news, click here:

The Bluebird Project - latest progress

#259 Giraffe

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 20:18

Don Wales being interviewed by Henry Hope-Frost on Friday. I was standing next a lady who had the distinct look of a Campbell (& was with Don) when I took this pic. (Edit).

Posted Image
Shot at 2011-01-16

Edited by Giraffe, 17 January 2011 - 19:54.


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#260 f1steveuk

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 21:29

Don Wales being interviewed by Henry Hope-Frost on Friday. I was standing next to Jean Wales (Donald Campbell's sister) when I took this pic.

Posted Image
Shot at 2011-01-16



Really? I think you'll find Jean passed away some time ago!

#261 LotusElise

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 22:42

Really? I think you'll find Jean passed away some time ago!


Isn't it Isobel who is involved with the project in some capacity? There may be Isobels Sr and Jr as well.

#262 Giraffe

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 06:42

Yes, Jean passed away in 2007, aged 83. :blush:

I guess it was Isobel (Jnr.) then.(I would have aged this very smart lady at around 60 ish). There is a remarkable Campbell family likeness. Don seems to be a really good guy.

Edited by Giraffe, 17 January 2011 - 21:07.


#263 Pullman99

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 10:34

Don Wales being interviewed by Henry Hope-Frost on Friday.


Hi Giraffe! :wave:

Thanks for posting. Didn't manage to get away to the show this year as I was working all weekend. Noted the comments from Steve and Lotus Elise above!

But matters Bluebird head to the top of the Forum again! BTW. Did you manage to catch the Sky News documentary on Bluebird K7 that has been airing at various times from 24th December onwards?

Edited by Pullman99, 04 November 2011 - 13:07.


#264 f1steveuk

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 20:31

Isn't it Isobel who is involved with the project in some capacity? There may be Isobels Sr and Jr as well.



Isobel who? Don's daughter is Charlotte, don't think Gina was there, I'm puzzled!!

#265 LotusElise

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 21:28

Isobel who? Don's daughter is Charlotte, don't think Gina was there, I'm puzzled!!


There is a female Campbell relative called Isobel somewhere, who I'm sure is involved in some capacity. Isobel Sr was Donald's other sister.

Don Wales is not even 60, so the mystery woman is not his daughter. Gina is about 60 though?

Edited by LotusElise, 17 January 2011 - 21:38.


#266 f1steveuk

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 10:41

I've known Don for years, knew Jean well (she allowed me to use ALL of her brother's archive for my book on Donald) and I have never heard of Donald Campbell having two sisters. Donald was born 1921, his sister 1923. Malcolm had one sister (Freda) whose familt tree goes into the Shawcross family via her daughter Joan.

Don Wales is the same age as me, very young (!!!), I'll give him a call and see who he was there with.

#267 Giraffe

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 13:58

Don Wales is the same age as me, very young (!!!), I'll give him a call and see who he was there with.


A lesson to be learn't here, never to be afraid or embarrassed to ask someone who they are! I could have done so (it crossed my mind) and should have done so!
I owe you for the call, Steve. :blush:


#268 LotusElise

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 14:07

Tonia Bern's book mentions a female relative called Isabel. She stuck in my mind because she has the same name and surname as an old schoolfriend of mine.

I do know that Tonia is not always 100% truthful in her stories about her life with Donald, so there is no telling where Isabel fits in.

#269 f1steveuk

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 14:12

Tonia Bern's book mentions a female relative called Isabel. She stuck in my mind because she has the same name and surname as an old schoolfriend of mine.

I do know that Tonia is not always 100% truthful in her stories about her life with Donald, so there is no telling where Isabel fits in.

Tonia, although a lovely lady, did have a slightly different grasp on history as the rest of us know it!

Edited by f1steveuk, 18 January 2011 - 14:12.


#270 f1steveuk

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 09:24

Well according to Don, he was there on his own, and doesn't know an Isabel, as he put it,

"ah, long lost aunty Isabel, so lost I've never heard of her!"

Even he's curious now :drunk:

#271 Giraffe

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 09:28

Well according to Don, he was there on his own, and doesn't know an Isabel, as he put it,

"ah, long lost aunty Isabel, so lost I've never heard of her!"

Even he's curious now :drunk:


The aforementioned lady spoke to Don as he left the stage, and then wandered unchallenged into Autosport hospitality / backstage presumably to meet up with him?!?! :confused:

#272 mfd

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 16:44

Well according to Don, he was there on his own, and doesn't know an Isabel, as he put it,
"ah, long lost aunty Isabel, so lost I've never heard of her!"
Even he's curious now :drunk:


2 + 2 = 5 :lol:

#273 f1steveuk

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 17:33

2 + 2 = 5 :lol:

Blast, I made it 7

#274 mfd

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 18:05

Blast, I made it 7

Ahh, K7 :p


#275 The Oracle

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 19:19

Been reading this thread off and on for a while now and just seen the sky news documentry and i'm still not sure what I think, as someone said earlier in the thread regarding the rebuild and re racing of cars in which a driver was killed (a topic that's live here somewhere) I can agree that *if* the wreckage had been lifted straight after the accident then fine, bin it get rid of and thats that - most people at the time would have probably agreed too, however, that wasn't the case and now the wreck has been recovered, Donald has been given a burial and K7 gets a full working (not just cosmetic) rebuild. What would I do, well, i've seen all the footage I know the story but i'm too young as I was born in 1976 to have lived it at the time - a full working rebuild of K7 powering across Coniston Water next year excites me, if I have half a chance I will get there to see that but is it the right thing to do? As mentioned earlier the Campbell family didn't want K7 displayed as a "wreck" which is fair enough, what I would have proposed (ok its too late now) would be keep whatever you can from the original, rebuild and replace what is missing, but use two diffterent shades of blue, so we know whats old and what is new, park it in a museum and have the massive engine on a plinth next to her so as we may all appreciate this wonderful and once thought lost feat of engineering.

Regarding the statement of the thoughts on repairing and racing Senna's FW16 I feel this is a little different in that Williams probably built 6 or 7 FW16's and i'm sure one or two are still being used / demoed around the world now - maybe a chassis that Senna once drove who knows - there is / was only 1 K7 people like me who missed out due to the annoying fact that my parents hadn't yet met will now get the chance to see (parts of) her put through her paces for real. I'm not saying its right or wrong but then thats half the fun of these forums.


#276 Alan Cox

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:44

I don't recall it being mentioned on TNF so here is probably as appropriate a place as any to note the fact that Sir Donald and Malcolm have both been commemorated by the unveiling of a 'blue plaque' on the house where they both (briefly) lived together at Canbury, Kingston Hill, Donald's birthplace. It was unveiled in November last year by Don Wales.
http://www.english-h...onald-campbell/

#277 Bill Becketts

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 09:41

I hope this link works to an interesting article in the Telegraph

http://www.telegraph...bird-crash.html



#278 MCS

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 10:14

I hope this link works to an interesting article in the Telegraph

http://www.telegraph...bird-crash.html


Yes the link works - oddly enough I was just looking at the same article. Are any other newspapers carrying anything on it I wonder?

#279 Tim Murray

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 10:37

There are articles in The Independent and the Westmorland Gazette. Google also throws up this:

http://www.warringto...ture/Page1.html

which says that some of the excellent Eddie Witham photos posted here by Alan Cox are included in the new book, whose author Neil Sheppard posts here as Sheppane.

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#280 Gary C

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 19:02

'to note the fact that Sir Donald and Malcolm have both been commemorated..'
I didn't realise Donald had been knighted.

#281 D-Type

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 20:02

Yes the link works - oddly enough I was just looking at the same article. Are any other newspapers carrying anything on it I wonder?

Where does the duck mentioned in the headline and the oprning sentence fit into the scheme of things?

#282 LotusElise

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 20:55

Where does the duck mentioned in the headline and the oprning sentence fit into the scheme of things?


I read it as the spar damage being caused by a bird strike - is this the conclusion anyone else came to?

#283 Tim Murray

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 21:00

Yes - as I understand it the collision with the duck occurred during an earlier test run, and for whatever reason the damage had not been fully repaired before the record attempt was made.

#284 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 22:41

Today is the 44th anniversary of Donald Campbell's tragic accident on Coniston Water in Bluebird K7 on the 4th January 1967

I know that there are quite a few TNFrs who are following progress on K7's rebuild and the Project reports that there has been a tremendous surge in interest in both the rebuild and the Donald Campbell story as a result of the recent Sky News documentary that has had several showings from 24th December 2010.

For the latest news, click here:

The Bluebird Project - latest progress

For some reason that link is not working at all. 404 error.
I have viewed the site before so do not know why.

#285 Terry Walker

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 01:25

There has been a detail change on the site and the update page has changed - when you get to the 404 error, there is a small link to the site's home page. Use that, and you're into the site.

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#286 D-Type

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 10:52

Where does the duck mentioned in the headline and the oprning sentence fit into the scheme of things?



I read it as the spar damage being caused by a bird strike - is this the conclusion anyone else came to?



Yes - as I understand it the collision with the duck occurred during an earlier test run, and for whatever reason the damage had not been fully repaired before the record attempt was made.


As I understand it Bluebird flipped because of aerodynamic and hydrodynamic instability not due to a structural failure of a spar. The most likely contribution the bird strike would be to change the shape which would directly affect the air and water flow. If it had damaged the spar, it might have made it more flexible which could have caused the whole boat to flex more, contributingd to the instability.
The article mentions the damage and then doesn't explain the contribution it might have made. Hence my question.

Edited by D-Type, 12 October 2011 - 10:59.


#287 Tim Murray

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 11:12

The most likely contribution the bird strike would be to change the shape which would directly affect the air and water flow.

That's what I thought they were trying to say, bur I agree, Duncan, we need clarification. Maybe if Sheppane reads this ... :wave:

#288 f1steveuk

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 11:35

Both spar arms on the port side had quite large bird strike dents. It has often been thought that the slightly unbalanced aerodynamincs had an contributry influence in the tramping/nose lifting part of the accident.

I have yet to read Neil's book, but I know he has delved into crash far more than I ever did.

#289 tbolt

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 17:40

Lytham St Annes Express today

replica K7
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#290 f1steveuk

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 17:52

Lytham St Annes Express today

replica K7
Posted Image


Quite a stunning replica of K7. Powered by the same type of Orpheus engine, but built more of aluminium. It has had a polarizing effect on Campbell devotees, and the family are very upset about it.

Sadly it ended up underwater today before they have had a chance to get it to plane, but then the real K7 went down in Lake Mead and subsequently took records, so once it's dried out the K777, as it's known, will be seen again.

#291 sheppane

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 19:58

As I understand it Bluebird flipped because of aerodynamic and hydrodynamic instability not due to a structural failure of a spar. The most likely contribution the bird strike would be to change the shape which would directly affect the air and water flow. If it had damaged the spar, it might have made it more flexible which could have caused the whole boat to flex more, contributingd to the instability.
The article mentions the damage and then doesn't explain the contribution it might have made. Hence my question.


i'm afraid to do the full explanation justice, you will have to buy the book (see www.bluebirdk7.com) however, this summary may help:

Summary

At speeds in excess of 310mph, Bluebird K7 was only marginally stable. The additive factors of ground effect and port spar damage were such as to reduce the stability margin further to the point where recovery beyond that speed was impossible once moderating engine thrust was lost or reduced.
Episodes of ‘hovering’ on the last runs have been identified and, indeed, confirmed throughout Bluebird’s operational life.
The hoped-for stability benefits of a further forward CG resulting from the Orpheus conversion were all but lost by the addition of the compensating ballast to facilitate planing.
The angle of the wedges incorporated as part of the original design brief to obtain 250mph were sub-optimal for speeds above that and contributed to the additional drag experienced.
The strident ‘rooster-tail’ spray pattern, evident in smooth or rough running conditions implies that Bluebird was near or at its dynamic stability limit.
The first run on 4 January was not without incident as has been generally claimed but demonstrated evidence of instability at the climax of that run and catastrophe was only narrowly averted.
Application of the water-brake following the first run was less efficacious than that predicted in earlier lower speed runs due to dynamic instability/ rear shoe ‘hop’.
The ‘bouncing’ phenomena observed on the final run are physically distinct to that of ‘tramping’ as they have a different cyclic frequency and form. Tramping was only observed to occur on the initial run-up from Peel Island and played no part in the critical stages i.e. from point a point 600 m south of the measured distance. The water conditions over the central part of the lake including that of the timed km were good.
The speed profile of the latter part of the final run reveals a serious decelerating episode following bounce ‘3’.
Engine failure has been confirmed at around 7 secs prior to impact.
No evidence can be found to indicate that the water brake was deployed in the final seconds.
It is asserted that Donald Campbell’s strategy on the final runs was to exploit the benefits of a quick turn-round given the good conditions of the water and his knowledge of how K7 itself disturbed the water during such runs. This approach was not unprecedented as he had exploited it on various previous runs.


I do hope that helps, and If you do buy the book, I hope you find it a compelling read. Certainly the reviews I have had so far seem to indicate that i succeeded in my aim of making thus.

Regards,

Neil

#292 D-Type

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 22:21

Thank you for going to the trouble of a comprehensive reply.

So the bird strike damage was the last straw in a marginally stable/unstable situation

#293 sheppane

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 22:54

Thank you for going to the trouble of a comprehensive reply.

So the bird strike damage was the last straw in a marginally stable/unstable situation


Indeed. Campbell was going into the unknown, and when pushed beyond 310 mph, Bluebird became hostage to a series of aerodynamic and hydrodynamic interactions that were not foreseen at that speed. Running Bluebird at high speed was the only way to find the limit, but ground effect took over causing a material and exponential increase in lift, which had not been foreseen at that speed. The bird strike damage, which in no way damaged any loaded structure caused asymmetrical drag on the port side of the boat, influencing to the bouncing motion of the starboard sponson.

The nose pitch up became pronounced, caused by the 6-10 inch high, 0.5 - 0.7 second duration bounces,which masked flow to the air intakes which was absolutely critical at that speed of 320+mph and the engine operating at full throttle, interrupting air flow on the 3rd bounce, causing the engine to flame out, thereby reducing the down-ward pressure that full power exerted on the forward planing points. One that down force inertia bled away, there was nothing to keep Bluebird on the water. Lift exceeded static weight, and one the critical angle of approx 4.75 degrees was exceeded, Bluebird took flight. There was nothing DMC could have done. Bluebird'd stability breakdown was total.

I know I'm biased, but I think the book, with its 320+ illustrations will give you a whole new perspective on what Campbell had to contend with. Read the Amazon or Octane Magazine review to get a better feel for how the book has been received.

Best,

Neil

#294 ianselva

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 10:57

Can anyone tell what has happened recently ?  Their website hasn't been updated for a couple of weeks.



#295 Cynic2

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 20:47

I know I'm biased, but I think the book, with its 320+ illustrations will give you a whole new perspective on what Campbell had to contend with. Read the Amazon or Octane Magazine review to get a better feel for how the book has been received.

Best,

Neil

 

Neil,

 

Based on this thread floating to the top again, I bought a soft-cover copy of your book from Amazon (USA).  It arrived a few hours ago, and you have cost me most of an afternoon when I should have been working on something.  I've only been scanning the book so far (I'll begin reading every word a bit later), but I can't put it down.  Your coverage is thorough and well written, and the photographs are incredible!

 

I've had a mild interest in land speed record cars, but very little on the water record until this afternoon.  Your book has made me a convert, both to the records and to the life of Donald Campbell.  Frankly I'm glad you avoided the controversy about raising Bluebird.  I have an opinion on what should have been done, of course, but it doesn't matter now, and in some ways the whole affair detracts from Donald Campbell's legacy.

 

If anyone on this forum has the slightest reservation about purchasing this book, I can only assure them that this is one of the best I've read this year, and I would recommend it very highly. 

 

David Seibert

USA