Friday, April 23, 2010

A 100 mph lawnmower?

A British team is trying to break the world speed record for a ride-on lawnmower. The BBC reports:

A machine that carries British hopes of shattering the world land speed record for a lawnmower has been unveiled at a beach in Carmarthenshire.

The specially made mower has been put through its paces at Pendine sands.

Called Project Runningblade, the team will return next month to try and power past the 100 mph barrier.

The mower is driven by Don Wales, whose grandfather Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the world land speed record at the seven-mile long beach in 1924.

The current mower record is held by American Bob Cleveland whose home-built lawnmower reached 80.792 mph on Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, in 2006.

The British attempt is the brainchild of 49-year-old Stephen Vokins who has worked at The National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire, for more than 25 years.

He underwent major heart surgery, and the record attempt is being used as a way to raise awareness and money for the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children and Wessex Heartbeat.

Communications director Clare Hensley-Boyd said they had already tested a prototype at Pendine but the machine unveiled on Friday would be the one used for May's record attempt.

They are aiming to go more than 20 mph faster than the current world record.

"Basically to meet the criteria it has to be fundamentally built from lawnmower components, " she explained.

"It will be the first time many in the team will have seen it - it's quite exciting.

"It's a test run to see how it copes with the sands."

To qualify for the record, the team will have to demonstrate their machine is still capable of cutting grass, which it must do on the same day it takes the record.

The actual record attempt is scheduled for the weekend of the 22 and 23 May.

Here's a video clip of tests of the lawnmower at Pendine in Wales.

I'd like to see them cut grass at that speed . . .



Jerry said...

I don't see a blade housing? Shouldn't one of the qualifications be that it has a blade? Never mind not being able to cut grass at that speed. :-)

Old NFO said...

It 'might' be able to clip a blade or two at speed...LOL Hope they make it!

Anonymous said...

So England also has rednecks?

"'Ere, Harry, hold me pint and watch this!"

...IIRC, England (specifically, engineers at their heavy equipment manufacturer JCB) also gave us a 300-mph-plus Bonneville flats dragster powered by a turbodiesel backhoe engine a couple of years ago...

--Wes S.

Zdogk9 said...

Damn! you could get to the Tav in a hurry with that

Anonymous said...

Outstanding - without a doubt, the first machine that will have simultaneous feature test articles in Car And Driver and Home And Garden - with special note taken, no doubt, in Consumer Reports' next series on lawn tractors...

Aside from a certain undeniable level of "bragging rights", I can't imagine any useful motivation for doing this sort of thing - but, somehow, I still like the whole idea!