About the Windjet Project
Richard Jenkins, started the Windjet project in 1998 while studying Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, London.
What initially seemed like an easy challenge soon turned into a marathon effort, taking 10 years and 5 different vehicle evolutions to eclipse the previous American held record of 116 mph.
On March 26th 2009 the 'Greenbird Ecotricity' reached 126.2 mph in the Nevada Desert at Ivanpah Dry lake.
The Windjet vehicles utilise a combination of technology, usually found
on Aircraft and Formula 1, to achieve staggering efficiency. Made from
carbon composites the vehicles take huge forces at top speed, being
able to transfer up to 1 Ton of side force into the ground.
Wind powered speed records are unlike any normal powered speed
record where more power will always equal more speed. With land sailing
speed records, more wind does not always equal more speed and instead a
technical solution is required, where lift is maximised, but more
importantly, drag is minimised.
However, being technically perfect is only half the challenge. The
vehicles also require a precise set of weather conditions to achieve
maximum speed. Therefore in order to set a new world record it is more
an art of choreography to get the right kit, in the right place, at the
right time, with the correct people observing.
Mk IV Windjet on (Salt) Lake Lefroy in Western Australia