Bluebird’s visit to Bute is hailed a success

Bluebird on Loch Fad. Photo by Iain Cochrane.
Bluebird on Loch Fad. Photo by Iain Cochrane.

The iconic Bluebird K7 hydroplane is due to leave Bute tomorrow(Friday) after a successful series of tests at Loch Fad.

Since arriving on the island on August 3, the restored craft has also been on display at events on the island including Bute Highland Games last Saturday.

Bluebird on Loch Fad. Photo by Iain Cochrane.

Bluebird on Loch Fad. Photo by Iain Cochrane.

Speaking on Tuesday, Bill Smith from the Bluebird team, said: “It’s been really good. We’ve really enjoyed it. We have had a great reception, as expected, that’s why we chose the place.

“When you bring a machine out after 10 years of rebuilding you find things that need fixed, which you expect, it’s nothing unusual. We are also getting the crew trained up. It’s all gone to plan thus far.

“We are just polishing up the lower speed handling, things like that. We have done the high speed stuff, which was good – 157 mph was the top speed. That’s more than plenty for such a small amount of water.

“We need a bit more water now. If Coniston want to do it we will turn up. It’s very much out of our hands.

“We are planning to leave on Friday morning. We will announce it when we know firmer details.

“It’s been a successful trip – to see Bluebird on the water, to see it alive and see all the amazed faces on the kids. It’s been great. And I was told that nobody under 40 would be interested!

“The crowds were great and the public appearances were epic. We loved them.”

It’s been over half a century since Donald Campbell became the only person to hold both the world land and water speed records simultaneously, the latter set in his jet-engined hydroplane, Bluebird K7, which crashed tragically on Coniston Water on January 4, 1967.