THEY’RE PROBABLY the only cars capable of giving land speed record holder Andy Green sleepless nights. A team of talented schoolkids smashed a land speed record not once, but twice in the same weekend when their rocket-powered model cars achieved, first, 478.1mph, and then 556.28mph.
Led by proud teacher Phil Worsley, the students, members of the young engineers club at Joseph Whitaker School in Rainworth, Nottinghamshire, shredded the existing record of 287mph set in 2011 when they put three model cars through their paces at Rolls-Royce’s test track at nearby Hucknall last weekend.
First off the line was Redshift. It achieved a record-breaking top speed of 478.1mph. Encouraged by their efforts, the team then released Bloodhound. Alas, it maxed out at “just” 448.9mph.
It was left to the aptly named Insanity to comprehensively trash the official record with an average speed, over two runs, of 533.1mph. On its first run [see video] it actually hit 556.28mph.
Once he was back down to earth, a jubilant Phil Worsley said: “We broke our own new record and the whole school is absolutely buzzing.”
Worsley said that, incredibly, the team’s journey to building its world-beating rocket cars began in the shops.
“We started with buying simple rocket kits, building them and firing them into the sky then developed our ideas from there.”
Guinness World Records will analyse the data before officially confirming the school’s record. In the meantime, Andy Green, try to get some sleep.
Launch of Insanity in slow motion
Launch of Insanity at actual speed