The steam powered car FIA World speed record, which has stood for more than 100 years, has finally been broken by a British team with an average speed of 139.843mph (225kph) on August 25th at Edward's Air Force Base in California.

Driver Charles Burnett III achieved 136.103mph (219kph) on the first mile and 151.085mph (243kph) on the second mile. The original 1906 record was 127mph (204.4kph) by American Fred Marriott, in a Stanley steamer at Daytona Beach.

"It was absolutely fantastic I enjoyed every moment of it. We reached nearly 140mph on the first run. All systems worked perfectly, it was a really good run, explained Charles Burnett III. The second run went even better and we clocked a speed in excess of 150 mph.

The Steam Car has 12 boilers and the vehicle can easily overheat so the team normally works from 5am until 10am after which the 100F temperatures (38degC) are too hot at Edward's Air Force Base, California.

With a 7.663m (25ft 2) length, 1.7m (5ft 7) tall and 1.7m (5ft 7) wide, weighing in at 3 tons, the two-stage turbine develops 360hp (268kw) which can theoretically propel it to 170mph (274kph). It uses liquid petroleum gas (LPG), generating 3MW of heat energy (equivalent to 23 cups of tea per second) and consumes 40 litres (10.5 US gallons) per minute of steam at 400degC and 40bar pressure.

The fuel capacity is 60 litres (15.8 US gallons) of LPG and uses1000litres (1ton, or 264 US gallons) of water every 25 minutes, with a compressed air system of 300bar and with 360Ah of battery capacity.

Visit: http://www. steamcar. co. uk/

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