Speed Record S.A. ::: Speed Records ::: Motivator ::: Team Maximum Impulse
"Motivator" - The South
In 1929 Malcolm Campbell (later Sir Malcolm Campbell) made an attempt at setting a new land speed record with his car "Bluebird" at Verneuk Pan in the Northern Cape area of South Africa. Seventy four years on, and there is a strong possibility that another world record attempt will be made in the Northern Cape, this time on two wheels. The man making this attempt is Richard Brown and his team, Team Maximum Impulse. The machine is his rocket powered streamliner which has already exceeded the existing record in America in 1999.
During 2001 I had become confident that it was worth giving serious consideration to a number of salt pans situated in the Northern Cape of South Africa. Team Maximum Impulse in England was encouraged to seek formal permission from the Provincial Government to stage a record attempt within the Province. This was readily granted, and thus the next step was to determine if the surface of the pans would be compatible with the aluminium alloy wheels that would have to be used on Maximum Impulse if the team were to achieve their target of a new two-wheeled Land Speed Record at over 400 m.p.h.
This is vital, as the team
found that when they went to Bonneville in 1999, the nature of the salt
was such that the machine could not be safely operated with the alloy
wheels. It seemed logical to conduct tests in this country using a rig
that would enable a suitably loaded wheel to be towed over the surface of
any area under consideration, to simulate the passage of the record
contender. My first thoughts on this was something in the nature of a
simple 'A' frame pivoted at its extremities on the rear of a Range Rover
or pick-up truck, with one of the alloy wheels at its apex. Supported
above this would be a weight representing the load on MI's axles - rather
like a large wheelbarrow in reverse. At this point I contacted the Port
Elizabeth Technikon with the suggestion that they give this idea to a
class of their engineering students as a design project. The student
submitting the best design would be invited to assist with the
construction (in the Technikon's workshop) and participate in the trials.
We know we have the capability, all we need
is to find the right venue.
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