THE CHALLENGE To set a new Unlimited World Water Speed Record
Warby Motorsport is proud to announce their new World Water Speed Challenger "Spirit of Australia II" which is now well under construction in Australia. Ken Warby & son Dave have been working on the new project for some time now and they have the original Spirit of Australia plan's out from 1970 plus all the wind tunnel testing information from the mid 1970's that was done by the late Professor Tom Fink & Ken on Spirit of Australia. The team has made some modifications to the design and had the design re-tested. This took sometime to get the answers they wanted to get the speeds they need to take the world water speed record to a new level. Then, with updated information, they set about building the brand new Spirit of Australia II. Ken & Dave realized that the J-34 Jet engine used in Spirit of Australia, and Aussie Spirit, would not get them to the speed they want with the new boat. Ken is probably one of the most experienced persons with afterburners on J-34s in the world and he has owned, built and raced many types in jet cars. Ken did experiment with an Afterburner on the J-34 in a boat, but it was found to disrupt the stability of the boat too much, one of the factors that killed Craig Arfon's. It was also found that a small percent loss of engine revs would cause the burner to blow back through the engine and stall it. A stall at near 300mph would cause the nose of the boat to rise due to a massive loss of the “nose down” moment of inertia caused by the thrust being above the center of gravity. The sudden instability would cause the nose of the boat to rise and a back flip (like Campbell and Arfons) would occur.
However, the bottom line was the fact the a Westinghouse J34 puts out 3400lb of thrust and with the added weight of the new reinforced cockpits, it was not going to be enough and a burner was not an option. Even if it was, the best result that Westinghouse ever got out of a burner on a J34, was 4200lb/thrust. Many drag racers have quoted figures such as 6000lb and even 8000lb, but those are just fantasy numbers for the media and they couldn't prove their claims. Warby Motorsport have tested j34 engines with drag burners in a test stand and only got a little over 4000lb/thrust. When breaking world speed records you deal with real facts, even though a spare jet engine and burners are sitting in the shed from the drag race days, there will not be one on Spirit of Australia II.
After forty years of using Westinghouse J34 engines in both boats and cars, the end of an era had come. Hence the need for a better engine.
Ken & Dave needed smooth delivery of thrust from a jet engine and an engine not too heavy for the new boat. They looked worldwide for the right engine, England, USA and even Russia, to get an engine with the right thrust to weight balance for the job and the search ended in Italy when they acquired two fresh Roll's Royce Orpheus 803 Jet engines. They are ex Italian Air Force engines out of a Fiat Gina G-91 jet fighter, which are around twenty years newer in technology then the old J-34s. These engines were stored in air sealed container's especially designed to transport jet engines and they were then shipped to Australia.The new Rolls Royce Orpheus engines not only put out a genuine 5000lb thrust, they also are 300lb lighter than the old Westinghouse J34s and that is a big plus.
With the hull design updated and engine search now done, the boat is now well underway, with current world record holder and world water speed record challenger father & son working side by side on Spirit of Australia II With Blowering Dam at near full capacity, we are looking forward to returning to Tumut, catching up with friend's, and breaking a new world water speed record