Tyre adhesion tests were carried out at Lake Eyre this morning (9/5/63) as a preliminary to the resumption of trials by Donald Campbell in the landspeed challenger, Bluebird.
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Background: Tyre adhesion tests were carried out at Lake Eyre this morning (9/5/63) as a preliminary to the resumption of trials by Donald Campbell in the landspeed challenger, Bluebird.
The adhesion tests are routine and precede every run made by Bluebird.
Two vehicles are used in the tests -- a saloon which is capable of 100 m.p.h. and an Elfin racing car, which has a speed range of up to 150 m.p.h.
The tests are under the supervision of a British tyre expert, Mr Andrew Mustard (with beard) who's worked with the Bluebird project for the past five years. In the film, he's assisted by another tyre company representative, Mr. Ted Townsend, of Renmark. The tests are made on a course adjacent to the Hobson's Choice run which Campbell has selected for his ultimate speed attempt.
The principle involves driving the saloon and racing car at high speeds over the salt crust and braking fiercely. The cars are required to make a crash stop from about 80 m.p.h. The gauging on the 'tappet meter' registers the adhesion between the vehicle's tyres and the Lake's surface. The higher the reading, the better the adhesion qualities.
The Elfin is particularly useful in this work. It's disc braking system on the front wheels is similar to the disc braking system in Bluebird. The Elfin also runs on smooth tyres, similar to Bluebird's tyres and are at half scale.
Campbell is now vitally concerned with the changing qualities of the salt crust on Lake Eyre and the information gathered in the adhesion tests are given first priority in the planning and timing of Bluebird's trial runs.