Bluebird Archive Photos & Films

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Renegadenemo
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Re: A Picture paints a thousand words....

Post by Renegadenemo »

I've no idea what caused the cracking of the main engine mount because although clear reference is made to it in the RAF report the ensuing repair has been very thorough and no evidence remains. The mount was tested before the boat ever ran so it can't have been the Orpheus that caused the damage. Probably faulty manufacture.
As for the forward engine mount, it wasn't really a mount at all. It's no more then a turnbuckle for adjusting the angle of the engine in its trunnions and was not adequate to stabilise the engine except for transportation purposes or when being installed in an aircraft. Needless to say, it was broken but we never conclusively proved when the fracture occurred because the fracture face was rotted beyond where the metallurgists could glean anything from it. The forward mount was also a non Bristol Siddeley part though it had been well made from a billet of 40 tons tensile material. Its failure is a single occurrence that could account for the accident but it can't be proved.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

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sheppane
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Re: A Picture paints a thousand words....

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K7's return to Coniston 3rd Nov 66.jpg
DMC supervises the launch of K7 for the first time in 1966 on the 3rd of November. The next day she ran for the first time, and on the 5th she had the engine static test where Orpheus 709 ingested rivets from the intake. The last time K7 had used the slipway at Coniston was May 14th 1959, when DMC's last UK record of 260mph was set. I bet that seemed an age ago that November afternoon. The Camera crew in the Fairline is from Border TV filming in colour for the documentary 'The Price of a Record Don at this stage had every reason to think a successful attempt would be over quickly, with bright calm November weather to great the team when they arrived.
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Last edited by sheppane on Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:07 am, edited 3 times in total.
'When you go down into the arena, you know that sometimes, you're likely to get your nose punched. You do it with your eyes open. You take the risks'

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Renegadenemo
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Re: A Picture paints a thousand words....

Post by Renegadenemo »

I especially like that photo. She's very new and untried in lots of ways in that picture but essentially the same old girl and that's what she'll be when next she slips into the water, which is why I have such an affinity for that image.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler

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sheppane
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Re: A Picture paints a thousand words....

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K7 Nov 66 attempting to plane.jpg
Bluebird in late November 66, intakes repaired, new Orpheus installed, trying desperately to plane. This was the day before the sandbag experiment. The spray baffles had been modified with alloy extensions, to try and keep the water out of the intakes, but the trim was still nose heavy. The jet wash gives the game away to how much power Don was using, the condition of the water is testament to the number of attempts had been made to get her over the top.
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'When you go down into the arena, you know that sometimes, you're likely to get your nose punched. You do it with your eyes open. You take the risks'

Donald Campbell, Bluebird and The Final Record Attempt. https://www.facebook.com/bluebirdk7/

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sheppane
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Re: A Picture paints a thousand words....

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DMC Coniston 1966.jpg
Don poses for photographers on the day of the sandbag experiment, on the 20th of November. The team worked into the evening, and the next day to cast and fit the lead ballast to the rear transom.
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'When you go down into the arena, you know that sometimes, you're likely to get your nose punched. You do it with your eyes open. You take the risks'

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Renegadenemo
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Re: A Picture paints a thousand words....

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DSCF1526.JPG
You mean these bloody things? And this is only half of them. There were two groups of them placed either side of the F-2 bulkhead amidships. F-1 is the transom so these were about 14 inches forward of the back of the boat.

There's simply no way these could have been fitted without a fairly involved stripdown. Both the engine cover and tail fairing would have to come off. The engine cover wasn't so bad, being retained by several hundred Dzus fasteners that came out with a half turn with a screwdriver, but the tail fairing was a different matter altogether. That was bolted down with more bolts than you'd believe possible and must've taken an age to get free. We were at it for weeks. Then they'd have to loosen the forward engine mount and jack up the jetpipe to get anywhere near where the lead was mounted. Does any account exist of how they got the lead in there?
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I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler

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sheppane
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Re: A Picture paints a thousand words....

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Bill,

Thanks for the detail. The best account appears to be in Steve Holter's book leap.... It portrays the difficulty they had scratching around in a confined space, trying to get them installed. A think a few bruised and battered hands... and the air being turned a pale shade of blue...
'When you go down into the arena, you know that sometimes, you're likely to get your nose punched. You do it with your eyes open. You take the risks'

Donald Campbell, Bluebird and The Final Record Attempt. https://www.facebook.com/bluebirdk7/

KW Mitchell
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Re: A Picture paints a thousand words....

Post by KW Mitchell »

On yesterday's 'Pic' of the Day' the question was posed about why the fuel tank had required pressure testing in 1959?

Unless anyone has knowledge to the contrary, my speculation is this; the tank is of an annular design and surrounds the compressor inlet housing of the powerplant. This, of course, was a necessity in the design but one could well imagine if there was a fuel leak it could have had disastrous consequences e.g. fire, being in close proximity to the engine.

Might then the pressure testing have been to confirm the tank's integrity and absence of leaks? It also might have been required at intervals because, no doubt, the hell of a pounding the boat took might, over time, have compromised such integrity ----------.

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Renegadenemo
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Re: A Picture paints a thousand words....

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The tank was at the cold end of the engine so the risk of a fuel leak in that particular area wasn't as great as it might have been from, for instance, the filter or auxilliary tanks in the engine bay itself. It also seems to have been only tested once, in 59. So why wasn't it tested in 54 when it was built; or any time subsequent to 59?
My guess is that the boat must've been transported by air. Any carrier would want to know the properties of a tank containing fuel vapour.
I'm only a plumber from Cannock...

"As to reward, my profession is its own reward;" Sherlock Holmes.

'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler

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sheppane
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Re: A Picture paints a thousand words....

Post by sheppane »

K7 Coniston 1966.jpg
Bill,

The test for air travel would fit for the plan to take K7 to the states in 60 so Don could attempt the double after the LSR. The Bonneville crash meant that K7 never made the trip. She travelled by sea to Aus in 63 with CN7, and then travelled back in the hold of a Boat in 65. The only instance where K7 travelled by air was in a DC9 transporter shorn of sponsons in 55 for her Lake Mead trip. Funny she wasn't tested then.

Above is a rather grainy pic of K7 in her final form about to climb on to plane...
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'When you go down into the arena, you know that sometimes, you're likely to get your nose punched. You do it with your eyes open. You take the risks'

Donald Campbell, Bluebird and The Final Record Attempt. https://www.facebook.com/bluebirdk7/

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