Windjet, the landcraft developed by Bill Green, Peter Whipp and James Labouchere was out testing at RAF Waddington yesterday
The Windjet landcraft developed by Bill Green, Peter Whipp and James Labouchere, was out testing at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire yesterday and clocked 116mph.
Although the weather conditions were not ideal for a record attempt, with a predicted 20-30 knot wind at about 25 degrees to the runway, Richard Jenkins (the helmsman) and team seized the opportunity to put in some valuable high speed test runs.
Leaving the hanger at 1600 hrs, Windjet waited patiently on the runway for two F-15 fighter jets to perform a ‘touch-and-go’ manoeuvre. No sooner had they roared overhead, the ‘Windjet all clear’ message came from Waddington Air Traffic Control over the cockpit radio.
Releasing the brake, Jenkins shot out on to the runway, accelerating with the windward wheel clear of the ground for the first few hundred metres.
That first run recorded 116 mph according to the on-board speedometer, However, the team know that this ‘mechanical’ device reads a speed at least 3-4 percent below the real vehicle speed.
Jenkins commented after the run: “We had some great speeds, clocking over 108 mph on every run, with a top recorded speed of 116. The vehicle was handling superbly and it looks as if we now have really got to grips with the turbulent Waddington conditions. Even better, is that the acceleration has now moved up a gear with top speed being reached by roughly the middle of the runway, in less than one mile. It’s quite incredible.”
The vehicle is now back in the hanger waiting for that next weather opportunity when the official timers will be back to witness the record and verify it.