Spirit of Australia facts for kids
Spirit of Australia is a wooden speed boat built in a Sydney backyard, by Ken Warby, that broke and set the world water speed record on 8 October 1978.
The record and boat
On 8 October 1978, Ken Warby drove Spirit of Australia on the Tumut River near the Blowering Dam in Australia on opposite direction runs of 492.813 km/h (306.220 mph; 266.098 kn) and 529.412 km/h (328.961 mph; 285.860 kn), for an official record of 511.11 km/h (317.59 mph; 275.98 kn), with a peak speed of 555 km/h (345 mph; 300 kn). It was powered by a Westinghouse J34 jet engine. The engine was developed by the Westinghouse Electric Company in the late 1940s and was used for jet fighters and other aircraft. Spirit of Australia is displayed permanently at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour, Sydney, New South Wales.
Starting in the early 1990s, Warby built a second jet boat, Aussie Spirit powered with a fresh Westinghouse J34, but he never made a record attempt with it. Warby and his son Dave are currently working on a new boat Spirit of Australia II, powered by a Bristol Siddeley Orpheus jet engine taken from an Italian Fiat Gina Fiat G.91 fighter plane. The new Spirit of Australia II is now completed and undergoing extensive trials with an attempt targeted for 2020.
Spirit of Australia Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.