Britlift Backs Longbow to attempt the Outright World Water Speed Record

 In News

Lifting equipment specialist Britlift is supporting an attempt to break the outright world water speed record for the fastest boat in the world.

I am deeply grateful to Britlift for their sponsorship and support. They understood exactly what we needed and delivered the perfect product for the job.

Longbow jet hydroplane

Longbow, a pure thrust jet hydroplane, is currently under construction on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire and aims to become the fastest vessel on water. The record currently stands at 317mph, set in 1978 by Australian Ken Warby MBE in his jet hydroplane Spirit of Australia.

Screw Driven Adjustable H-Frame

Britlift is supporting the construction of Longbow, fabricating and donating a lifting frame to help the team safely move and position the twin Rolls Royce Viper 535 turbojet engines derived from the military BAC Strikemaster aircraft.

Liam Botting, Managing Director of Britlift, said: “We created Britlift to be a solutions provider, solving complex lifting problems large and small. Longbow offered a great opportunity for us to lend our lifting expertise, designing and manufacturing this adjustable H-Frame with a screw driven central top lifting point, for small CoG adjustment”

The team behind Longbow is Jet Hydroplane UK, led by David Aldred, who is well known and respected in the jet hydroplane community. It also includes a serving RAF pilot as the vessel’s driver, David-John Gibbs (DJ).

A flight examiner at RAF Cranwell and an acrobatics display pilot for the RAF, in his spare time DJ races a Formula 4 hydroplane. The consultant design engineer for the project is Paul Martin who has previously worked for McLaren and is currently working on the Aussie Invader land speed record car, which is aiming for 1,000mph.

Liam added: “Longbow is considered to be a genuine challenger for the outright world water speed record and we are delighted to be playing our part in the construction of this jet hydroplane and wish the team every success with it”.

Bespoke Lifting Frame

Based in Dorset, UK, Britlift works with a global client base, providing an end-to-end lifting equipment engineering design service including calculations, design, manufacture, certification, and rig design. The degree qualified mechanical/structural engineers at Britlift will work with the client during the design phase, ensuring the most efficient, effective, safe and suitable solution is engineered, be that a lifting beam, or frame, a bespoke handling or lifting tool, complex rig design, FEA, etc. Its Traditional Modular spreader beam is also available in a variety of standard sizes.

Britlift provided a bespoke lifting frame to Jet Hydroplane UK, built to David Aldred’s specifications.

Longbow is considered to be a genuine challenger for the outright world water speed record and we are delighted to be playing our part

“I am deeply grateful to Britlift for their sponsorship and support,” said David. “They understood exactly what we needed and delivered the perfect product for the job.”

David has a long history in the jet hydroplane community. He previously supplied the Orpheus engines for K777, an experimental replica of the world-famous Bluebird K7 and prior to that worked for a while upon the restoration of the original Bluebird K7.

His design philosophy encompasses both traditional boat building methods and modern technology. “I feel it is easy to forget the basics of simply building a fast boat where there is no need to reinvent the wheel or be overwhelmed by expensive, highly complex engineering, when common sense and experience will get you where you need to be”.

“Pick up your tools and make what you want a reality. If it looks right then it probably is right and if it doesn’t work as you want it to, scratch your head, ask for help when needed and fix the problem.”


You can watch a video of the Britlift beam in action on Longbow’s construction here: Moving Jet Engine May 2022.

And you can find out more about the Longbow project here: Jet Hydroplane UK ∞ Longbow

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