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Jet engine bike passes test-fire trial ahead of speed record bid

Monday, February 06, 2012 - 02:49

Feb. 6 - British inventor Richard Brown has built a unique jet engine-powered motorbike, fitted with an afterburner, which he plans to drive at more than 700 kph (440 mph) to break the world land speed record. It will be Brown's second attempt, after trying but failing to beat the current record in 1999. Jim Drury reports.

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UPSOT JET ENGINE BIKE TEST Richard Brown's new high-speed jet bike is designed to travel very fast. Brown plans to it ride at a speed of about 720 kilometres per hour, so there was a great deal riding on this, the first test-firing of his one-of-a-kind, converted helicopter engine. UPSOT MORE JET ENGINE BIKE TEST SOUNDBITE (English) RICHARD BROWN, DESIGNER AND RIDER OF JET REACTION, SAYING: "The thing that makes it most unique is that very few landspeed record bikes have ever used thrust power.....What I've now done is I've taken a gas turbine which is normally used to power a very large helicopter - the Sea King in fact - and I've converted the engine, basically redesigned and re-engineered the engine to turn it into a thrust engine." And thrust is what it's all about. The afterburner blazes at a temperature of 1400 degrees Fahrenheit, spraying fuel into the exhaust, helping generate more power. UPSOT: HIGHSPEED ROCKET BIKE..... Brown has been here before. More than ten years ago, in 1999, Brown broke the world one-way speed record for a motorbike, hitting 584 kilometres per hour at Bonneville salt flats in Utah. UPSOT: MORE HIGHSPEED ROCKET BIKE..... It was an impressibe ride but one that ended in failure. The outright land speed record is based on the average of two runs in opposite directions. A burst tyre on Brown's second run devastated his hopes. UPSOT: BROWN SITTING IN SILENCE Now the British inventor is back, with his new bike and its afterburning jet engine. SOUNDBITE (English) RICHARD BROWN, DESIGNER AND RIDER OF JET REACTION, SAYING: "The afterburner's only used for very short durations, so much for the same reason as a jet fighter they only use them for certain manoeuvres, like for take-off on very short runways and various similar applications, and ..... that's why it makes it ideal for a landspeed record because the vehicle will only ever run for a matter of minutes." Cars used in landspeed-record attempts have used jet thrust since the 1950s, but all record-breaking motorbikes used conventional engines. Safely packing a jet engine into a two-wheeled frame driving at enormous speed is hard. Brown will attempt to break the British landspeed record this summer. And in 2013 he hopes to exceed the 720 kilometre per hour mark in Bonneville, smashing the current record of 606 kph. Brown says he's his confident. He believes he has the right technology and the drive to propel himself into the history books. Jim Drury, Reuters

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Jet engine bike passes test-fire trial ahead of speed record bid

Monday, February 06, 2012 - 02:49

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