World Lawn Speed Record/Don Wales

malcolm uk
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Re: World Lawn Speed Record

Post by malcolm uk »

A small matter of raising £6,000,000 to construct the electric car (designed by Jerry Bliss) to go 350 mph (or more) for the International LSR for battery power.
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Renegadenemo
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Re: World Lawn Speed Record

Post by Renegadenemo »

A small matter of raising £6,000,000 to construct the electric car
Where do these figures come from? We'll do it - and if we come in under budget can we keep the change?
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

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ace_chris
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Re: World Lawn Speed Record

Post by ace_chris »

Renegadenemo wrote:
A small matter of raising £6,000,000 to construct the electric car
Where do these figures come from? We'll do it - and if we come in under budget can we keep the change?
Bloomin heck, for another £200k he could have a crack at 1000mph! - based on the figures on the Bloodhound project. Jeez, 6 million sounds like a helluva lot to do 350mph for the battery powered LSR

quicksilver-wsr
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Re: World Lawn Speed Record

Post by quicksilver-wsr »

In fairness, the home page of Don's website (http://www.bluebirdelectric.com) says that they are looking for £2.5 million to build it, so I'm not sure where the £6 million figure comes from.

The Bloodhound team's own figures, which they've quoted publicly recently, say they have spent £2 million thus far. In that case, it might be difficult to keep within their overall budget target, but let's hope they can.

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Re: World Lawn Speed Record

Post by quicksilver-wsr »

So maybe inflation kicked in - and a few redesigns - and the cost can hike up.

It depends how you're doing it. If you have paid personnel, and pay for things on the car/boat/plane, whatever it is, it starts to cost serious money. Richard's project, the same. If it's voluntary personnel and with equipment donated, it keeps the cost down - but takes a whole lot longer to do, because you can't crack the whip.

There are different ways to slay the dragon and every team is different - dependent, usually, on the "culture" of that particular team and its project's history: that is to say, how it came about in the first place. Also who is involved. Their areas of expertise and their circumstances.

The budget, ultimately, springs from all of that.

malcolm uk
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Re: World Lawn Speed Record

Post by malcolm uk »

Don was interviewed by the Daily Mail and the figure was quoted in that article last week.

The performance target has moved forward from the 2001 reports on the website, with speeds in excess of 350 mph now being discussed. A five fold budget increase in about ten years does go against the current fiscal restrictions we all face. Someone once said that to reach BE2 half the budget sum had been spent.

Nigel is correct with his examination of different style of projects - Don is a professional photographer and therefore needs designer, constructor and operating crew to reach his goal. To reach a record bid in two years takes a bundle of money.
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quicksilver-wsr
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Re: World Lawn Speed Record

Post by quicksilver-wsr »

Adding to what Malcolm says - which I totally agree with, incidentally - the issue of how quickly you want to get a record plays very heavily into the budget. If you are willing to go as fast - or as slow - as the pace of your project and its resources allow, you can actually cut your costs quite a bit, and that is what we have done over the years with Quicksilver. But if you set an aggressive target date, and give yourself a fairly short timescale in which to achieve your aim - which is what Richard has done with Bloodhound, and now Don too - the cost of the venture shoots sky-high, because now you have to drive things very, very hard, and the only way you can really do that is with money, money, money.

We had a spell - throughout the whole of 2005, through to the middle of 2006 - when we had the money to take on several people on a paid basis. It speeded things up no end, but it also brought its own pressures. Not least of those pressures being to keep the money coming in.

Money is a funny thing. I've seen times with Quicksilver when I've been promised money and I've had it all spent, in my mind, even before it came - on all the things we could spend it on that would make the project run easier. And yet, when the money fails to materialise - which is, sadly, almost invariably the case - then we still managed to keep moving forward, without it.

I guess what I am really saying is that you cut your cloth accordingly, as you go along.

Finally, the other really big thing that plays into the budget is the location for your record attempt. If you have to shift your whole operation to Jordan, or the USA, or South Africa, and keep your team there for some weeks, of course it's going to cost you a shed-load more than going to Coniston and living under canvas - as we'll probably do!

malcolm uk
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Re: World Lawn Speed Record

Post by malcolm uk »

If Don goes back to Edwards AFB he may need a substantial team budget (along with an endless supply of Factor 30 protection). Possible if they need course length that Bonneville cannot supply. An American team hopes that the USAF can offer them 11.5 miles of track at a hire cost of $50,000.

Malcolm
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