'Bluebird K7', World Water Speed Record contender, 1958.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model (scale 1:6) of Donald Campbell's Bluebird motorboat. The model shows the tail fin added in 1958. The boat was designed by Ken and Lou Norris, the frame built by Accles and Pollock, and building completed by Samlesbury Engineering. Bluebird, a British jet hydroplane, owned and driven by Donald Campbell (1921-1967), was the fastest boat in the world during the 1950s and 1960s. On 23 July 1955 Campbell achieved an average speed of 202.32 mph on Ullswater in the Lake District, making Bluebird the first boat to officially break the 200 mph barrier. He went on to break this world water speed record a number of times, before his fatal crash on Lake Coniston, Lake District, in 1967 during an attempt to reach 300 mph.