A great success story of any young Englishman since the war. This is the personal story of Donald Campbell, only son of the late Malcolm Campbell. It tells how Donald suddenly determined to try and improve his fathers world water speed record of 141.74 m.p.h for Britain when he heard of an american challenge.
For six years he has one frustration and bitter disappointment after another. After his fathers Bluebird was wrecked, when it had hit a submerged log at 170 m.p.h and John Cobb had been killed on Loch ness, he spent every penney he owned- even mortgaging his house- to build a turbo-jet hydroplane.
Following many preliminary discussions about design, Donald went ahead on his own with Leo Villa, his fathers chief mechanic and old family friend , and two unknown designers, the Norris brothers. Their new Bluebird was launched on Lake Ullswater in February 1955, and after four months of further research and modifications a new world record of 202.32 m.p.h was established on 23rd July.
Donald thus became the first man to travel at this speed and live to tell the story. Cobb and an italian, Mario Verga, were killed by the effects of what has been called ‘water barrier’- excessive vibration- which caused their craft to disintegrate at 200 m.p.h
Donald regards the development of his jet Bluebird as a scientific venture that could lead to the development of a high speed naval weapon.
He wrote his book in collaboration with Alan W. Mitchell, a New Zealand journalist, who also collaborated with Neville Duke in writing ‘Test Pilot’
With frontispiece and 16 pages of photographs.
Dedication inside that reads:
‘To Don, With profound thanks for all his help with this project Sincerely Donald Campbell
Lew Norris Ken Norris
What makes this item unique is that it is also signed by Lew and Ken Norris- the design team behind the successful Bluebird machines.