Donald Campbell has created speed records on land and water he describes the challenges and his plans to create new records.
Land and water speed record holder Donald Campbell (1921 – 1967) hopes to boost his world water speed record after his attempt early next year on the land speed record.
He outlines his plans for a record-breaking land speed attempt. His first attempt almost ended in disaster in Utah in 1960 when the car hit a patch of wet salt, lost control and ended up in the air for a thousand feet. The car was written off and Donald survived with a fractured skull.
We've just built a new machine and we're ready to go again.
With the help of BP, Donald Campbell has found what he believes is an ideal spot for a land speed record-breaking attempt at Lake Eyre in South Australia. Lake Eyre is a salt lake with an expanse that allows for 18 miles of run as opposed to just ten and a half miles in Utah. The record attempt is due to take place next year.
Donald Campbell was in Ireland to open a mooring basin for pleasure craft on the River Shannon. While in Ireland, he plans to survey a number of lakes that might prove suitable locations for a water speed record. He says that the ideal is a body of water at least six miles long, half a mile wide, straight shorelines with a road alongside and an average depth of 15 to 20 feet.
The plan for a world water speed record is to travel at 300 miles per hour on the surface of the water. A big challenge is to design a vehicle that can stay on the water at this speed.
His current record is 260.35 mph.
This episode of 'Newsbeat' was broadcast on 4 January 1967. The reporter is P.P. O'Reilly.
This interview was recorded in August 1962. It was broadcast on the day that Donald Campbell was killed while attempting to set another water speed record in his 'Bluebird K7'. He had set seven water speed records between 1955 and 1964 with speed increases from 216mph to 276.33mph. The accident occurred on Coniston Water, Lancashire, England. As the Bluebird surpassed 320 mph, it lifted from the water and somersaulted out of control. Donald Campbell was killed instantly.