The Bluebird Project's historical advisor details that fateful speed record attempt from its formative planning to the trials and mechanical setbacks, to the rising hopes, expectations and darker moods of Campbell, to the first complete scientific analysis of that crash- still indelibly etched in the mind of those who saw it in the flesh or on grainy television footage. Many of the 300-plus pictures in the book are from unseen private collections and printed here for the first time. Fascinating stuff. --Cumbria Magazine
There have been several texts already dedicated to the story of Donald Campbell's record attempts but this is something else entirely. Sheppard grew up in the Lake District, scene of Campbell's many record-breaking attempts, and is an acknowledged authority on the speed merchant. Here he charts in diary format the beginnings of Campbell's formative plans in May 1966, through the preparations and modifications to Bluebird K7 and the many trials, mechanical setbacks, and unsuccessful runs made in December of that year, to a discussion of why disaster was not inevitable. The author offers a scientific analysis of the fatal crash, and has uncovered hitherto unreported trials and headaches faced by Campbell and his team as time marched on and the media became increasingly caustic. Well written and a compelling read. --Octane magazine
World record breaker, and son of world record breaker, Donald Campbell was born to speed on land and water. And he died through speed as he attempted his eighth World Water Speed Record on Coniston Water on a winter's day in 1967. His jet hydroplane, Bluebird was on its second run when it leapt from the surface of the water at 300mph. Neil Sheppard, in this superbly illustrated book, tells the full story of Campbell's ill-fated final year. --Cumberland News
From the Author
I better explain briefly tell you where my interest in Donald Campbell came from ...,
`Returning home from a day out with my parents, we were driving along the shoreline of Ullswater, prompting mum and dad's conversation to turn to a time when they had witnessed a man called Donald Campbell driving his jet propelled boat, Bluebird, out on the lake. Having an interest in things that went fast, suddenly, I was paying attention.
They told the story of how in the summer of 1955, they had spent many an evening alongside the shore, with hundreds of other people, witnessing Campbell's high-speed trials in Bluebird K7, as a precursor to breaking his first World Water Speed Record. I was amazed that something so exciting could take place on my doorstep.
Within a few days, I was pestering mum to visit the local library and see if they had any Campbell books that would satisfy my curiosity. We picked up the biography `Donald Campbell CBE'. My parents didn't hear much of me for the rest of that evening, and the next or the one after that... I was totally engrossed and have been ever since.... I hope when you have read this book, you will be too ...'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.