British engineer pilots wind-powered vehicle to speed record

After 10 years of trying, a British engineer has broken the land-speed record for a wind-powered vehicle.

Pushed by 30-mph winds over two miles, Richard Jenkins reached 126.1 mph yesterday in his Ecotricity Greenbird car on the dry lakebed of Ivanpah Lake, south of Las Vegas. That’s 10 mph faster than the previous record, set in 1999 by American Bob Schumacher.

As the Daily Mail put it, that makes Jenkins the fastest naturally powered human on the planet.

“It’s great. It’s one of those things that you spend so long trying to do and when it actually happens, it’s almost too easy,” Jenkins told the BBC.

The Greenbird is made of carbon fiber composite and powered only by the wind. The only metal is in the wing bearings and the wheel units. For photos, video and audio of the car, go here.