Graeme Obree’s first test run with the land speed record vehicle “the Beastie”

Graeme Obree[1], “The Flying Scotsman” is working on a plan to attempt the human-powered land speed record in a machine of his own design for a while. Last week, he tested the vehicle, “Beastie”, in preparation to break the human-powered land speed record.

On the development of a shell for “the Beastie”[2], Obree has been working with a team of Product Design Engineering students at the Glasgow School of Art. He did his first test run in the Beastie last week, on Thursday 15th November at Machrihanish airport in Scotland. A photographer from the website Humans Invent, Camille McMillan was there to take photos. There’s an article on the Humans Invent website about the test.

Graeme Obree, Beastie
Graeme Obree tests land speed record vehicle: “Beastie”

The weather was not ideal, so due to issues with visibility, Obree decided to test the usability of the bike with the fairing at a more moderate speed. The tests proved very successful and he remains upbeat despite the weather.

Obree said: “The vehicle itself is good, it’s now about sorting out the perfect skin, which I’m pretty confident we can do,” he said. “The plan is to build the proper skin, which we will slightly modify in terms of headroom, and the front and tail will be shorter.”

Obree hopes to reach speeds of up to 100 mph, cracking the land speed record of 82.8 mph. The world record is currently held by Canadian Sam Whittingham in the Varna Tempest at 133.28 km/h (82.8 mph).


[1] Graeme Obree broke the hour record twice, in July 1993 and April 1994, and was the individual pursuit world champion in 1993 and 1995.
[2] Obree likes giving names to his bikes. He named “Old Faithful” the bicycle he built which included parts from a washing machine, and broke the hour record twice.

Photo credits:
Image of the Bestie prototype: Glasgow School of Art
Others: Camille McMillan for Humans Invent

Video: Canadian rider Sam Whittingham rides the Varna Diablo III to a world record speed of 82.3 mph (132.5 km/h) at Battle Mountain Nevada in September 2008.

M. Özgür Nevres

I am a software developer, an ex-racing cyclist (at the amateur level) and a science enthusiast. Also an animal lover! I write about cycling on this website, You can check out my social media profiles by clicking on their icons.

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