This lawnmower is set to shatter the current land speed record for grass cutting contraptions next month. Its 100 MPH target speed is 25% faster than the current record.
The current 80 MPH record was set by Bobby Cleveland at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2006. It's a particularly difficult record thanks to regulations that require stock riding mower engines and gearboxes and, yes, the ability to actually cut grass has to be retained. For a bit of context, the bicycle world land speed record is 81 MPH, while the outright record is 763 MPH, set by Thrust SSC.
So far, Project Runningblade, as the British effort is known, has achieved speeds in the high 60 MPH range. The machine they're racing is a Countax Garden Tractor powered by a Kawasaki engine of unspecified output. In addition to being fitted with that new engine, the team have made the mower lower, wider and more aerodynamic in the pursuit of stability and safe handling at high speeds.
At its 100 MPH goal, the mower will be able to trim grass at a rate equal to one football field every 2.61 minutes.
Project Runningblade is scheduled to make its record attempt at the Pendine Sands on the weekend of May 22-23. [Project Runningblade]