Piloted by Guy Martin, an ex Tourist Trophy racer, the ‘52’ Express is just about ready for next year to set a new land speed record, which currently stands at 376.363 miles per hour. The project’s goal is squarely set at 400 miles per hour, ideally surpassing the record by about 25 miles per hour.
The ‘52 Express is powered by a Rolls-Royce Lynx helicopter turbine engine that produces 1,200 shaft bhp. The MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) is supporting the record attempt and has provided key resources to the project in order to develop and create the body and the other features that’ll help the project be propelled into the history books.
Carbon fibre has been used throughout the body of the ‘52 Express’ to maintain optimal levels of rigidity and lightness because when you’re going that fast, every gram counts. The tests for the project were conducted in the North Weald Airfield in Essex, and the record attempt is scheduled to take place in Bolivia by 2022.
The initial tests covered engine run-ups on stands in order to check the driveline, bed, and rear brake pads. Low-speed runs were also conducted during these tests in order to get steering and stability requirements squared away. Project founder, Alex Macfadzean has reportedly sold his rare collection of classic BMW motorcycles in order to turn this dream of a project into a reality. Kudos to him for his dedication to funding the project.
It must not have been easy to let go of such a classic collection of bikes, but to make it into the annals of history is another story altogether. Following the shakedowns in the UK, the team remains optimistic that they’ll be able to achieve their goals, but the question is: will they?
There are a few more steps and developments that the team needs to tackle before things kick into high gear for next year. According to the sources, the team ran without the bodywork as it is still in development. Again, the question remains: can they do it? We’ll all have to wait until 2022 rolls over.