What would you expect the record speed for a wind powered vehicle to be? 30 miles per hour? 60 miles per hour? Try 126.1 miles per hour! That is the record set by Richard Jenkins this past weekend at the Ivenpah Lake in Nevada, where he finally managed to do what he set out to do 10 years ago – pilot the fastest wind powered vehicle in the world.
We previously wrote about Richard and the Greenbird a few months ago when he was hoping to break the record in Western Australia. That attempt didn’t pan out due to poor conditions, so we’re excited to see that he finally achieved his goal.
The Greenbird is a carbon-fiber composite vehicle that is exclusively wind powered, making it essentially an earthbound sailboat. There were challenges involved, since at high speeds the vehicle tends to, well, take off. To counter this problem the vehicle incorporates specific design solutions, such as wings similar to those found in fomula one cars.
So now that he has achieved his first goal, what is next? Well, believe it or not, he will now try to break the record again – only this time, he will do so on ice.
Photo by Peter Lyons