Keeping Bluebird Safe

As Donald Campbell drives his jet-powered Bluebird over the Bonneville Salt Flats in his attempt on the world land speed record, engineers up to 15 miles away in a Land Rover will be able to see what is happening to the car.

So, 54 years ago, starts a story in Electronics Weekly’s first edition of September 7th 1960.The story continues:

Bluebird has been fitted with DIDAS (Dynamic Instrumentation Data Automobile System) telemetry equipment produced by Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Ltd., Coventry.

Transducers will continuously measure temperature, pressure and position ast 18 vital points on the car, engine, gearbox and suspension.

Any necessary warnings can be flashed to Mr Campbell over a VHF radio link.

A ‘black box’ will mix 250,000 readings a minute for transmission as a single signal from a tiny blade aerial behind one of Bluebird’s wheel fairings.

The receiving equipment will sort out the signals and display them on meters and oscilloscope.

The data will also be recorded on film.



  1. British technology at its best, Fred, he had scores of water speed records and land speed records before the boat flipped.

  2. Well, the technology must have worked well that time around. The Donald Campbell / Bluebird story eventually ended in tragedy in a most public manner..
    Courtesy of Wikipedia –

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