It now appears certain that Donald Campbell will have to postpone preparations for his attempt on the world land speed record for a week or ten days.
W/A Bluebird on lake - at dusk (1/5/64) when thunderclouds began to appear threatening rain
3 1/2 ft
C.U wheel of camera tower
M/S tower being towed away - towers for the film coverage were being shifted into position for the scheduled first trial run at 7.30 a.m. the following morning (2/5/64). At this stage officials did not think rain would postpone the run.
C.U. propeller of light 'plane - aerial inspection at 7.30 a.m. 2/5/64 following the overnight rain
Aerial view of Bluebird camp on the Lake
22 1/2 ft
Causeway on to Lake from the land
Aerial view start of causeway and the base camp on the fringe of the lake.
Aerial view Mullorina station homestead which received only points of rain overnight, and is almost 40 miles from the speed track which recorded 24 pts (several shots of Muloorina homestead and outbids.)
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Background: It now appears certain that Donald Campbell will have to postpone preparations for his attempt on the world land speed record for a week or ten days.
Thunderstorms which fell on the twenty mile track last night (1/5/64) inundated most of it, in many places to a depth of one inch.
A rain gauge at the start of the track recorded twenty-four points, but water lying on the track towards the far end indicated that up to half an inch of rain had fallen there.
The South Australian Police and Army unit which has been supporting Mr Campbell's operation propose to withdraw from Lake Eyre tomorrow, leaving behind a four-man task force. The Police and Army unit will return when the track has dried out and has been repaired to enable Campbell to commence test runs in his Bluebird racing car.
Originally Mr Campbell had intended to make sixty-three test runs but he now may confine his test runs to no more than twenty.
When the track is useable, he is expected to try to reach a speed of three-hundred miles an hour in as few test runs as possible. Mr Campbell has not driven Bluebird at more than two-hundred-and-forty miles an hour, and test runs around three-hundred miles an hour are vital so that specialists can adjust the suspension and other vital components of the car to fit it to runs at speeds in excess of four-hundred-and-seven miles an hour.
Mr Campbell is still confident that he can make an attempt on the record about the third week of May, provided no more rain falls on Lake Eyre in the meantime.
Films shows the aerial inspection of the lake and the speed track made at 7.30 a.m. 2.5.64 after a night of thunderstorms. There's a sheet of water along the entire lengths of both the main track, 20 miles long, and the practice track, 8 miles long. The depth ranges from half an inch to two inches. The overnight gauging on the lake was 24 points. However, it's estimated that the centre of the speed track received about half an inch.