A British engineer hopes to break the 400mph barrier, set a new world record and possibly go as high as 450mph in his two-wheeled, helicopter-powered streamliner motorcycle.
Richard Brown, 50, of Oxfordshire, and his team of friends, family and enthusiasts will head to the Bonnevlle salt flats in Utah this September in an attempt to break the Official FIM World Two Wheeled Land Speed Record which now stands at 376.373mph (605.713km/h).
However, they claim their Jet Reaction is designed to travel at speeds up to 450mph, according to a Computational Fluid Dynamics study by Huddersfield University.
The 6.1m-long Jet Reaction streamliner weighs 560kg and is driven by a helicopter gas turbine engine with an afterburner.
It was recently tested on the Pendine sands of Wales, but because of the conditions of the surface, uneven and soft sand reducing traction, no major speeds were attempted, says spokesman Tom Burns.
“While challenging, it was an important alternative to the usual hard surface testing and yet more challenging than the salt flats surface of Bonneville. It was also an opportunity for the seven-strong support team to put into practice procedures for Bonneville. This included radio test, refuelling, batter re-charge, tire check, vehicle body check assisting Richard Brown in and out of the vehicle.”
Just how fast is 400mph (643.737km/h), anyway? Well, it means travelling at 586ft or 178m every second. That’s the length of nearly two football fields in the blink of an eye as the above video of a test run shows.
Richard has built and piloted two similar vehicles in the mid 1990s, including the rocket-powered Mach 3 Challenger that set a top speed of 332.887mph (535.729km/h).
It was the fastest two-wheel vehicle at the time, but because he was unable to complete a return run due to track conditions he so was not entitled to claim the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme record.
He hopes to finally achieve his coveted world record this September in Utah.