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Diesel hits new heights

Oil to burn: The JCB Dieselmax with its 5.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine.

Andy Green sets another world land speed record, this time in a diesel, of 563.418km/h

31 Aug 2006

FAST Briton Andy Green has set another world land speed record, this time for a diesel-powered vehicle.

Wing Commander Green became the first person to break the sound barrier on land when in September 1997 he reached 1149.30km/h in the ThrustSSC at Black Rock Desert, USA, to set a new absolute land speed record, which he later broke by traveling at the supersonic speed of 1227.99km/h (Mach 1.016).

Now, the British RAF pilot has broken the diesel land speed record by more than 160km/h by reaching an average speed of 563.418km/h in his JCB Dieselmax supercharged diesel streamliner at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats on August 23.

80 center imageLeft: Andy Green's absolute world land speed record holder, the ThrustSSC. Designed specifically for the purpose of breaking the land speed record for a diesel-engined vehicle, the JCB Dieselmax diesel-engined 'Streamliner' car features a chassis designed and built by Coventry-based engineering company Visioneering, with engine and gearbox development by Ricardo Consulting Engineers.

The car is powered by specially-tuned versions of the production 5.0-litre four-cylinder JCB444 powerplant, developing up to 560kW (more than five times the power output of the production version) via twin compound turbochargers and twin compound intercoolers.

Because the car's size prohibited accurate wind tunnel testing, the vehicle's aerodynbmics were developed by computational fluid dynamics, the result of which is a drag coefficient of only 0.174Cd.

Fully laden including fuel, oil, ice, water coolant and driver, the Diselmax weighs just under 2700kg.

The Dieselmax made its first official run on August 13 at Bonneville as part of 2006 Speed Week, before breaking the official FIA diesel engine land speed record (380km/h, set in 1973) by attaining a speed of 529km/h 10 days later.

Green broke his own record 24 hours later, achieving a speed of 563.418km/h on August 23, but later said the car was not running at its full potential due to problems finding suitable tyres and the fact the speed was set in fifth (not sixth) gear.

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