Bluebird set to fly on Loch Fad

The restoration team with Bluebird K7 in their North Shields workshop. Photo by Mike Bull.
The restoration team with Bluebird K7 in their North Shields workshop. Photo by Mike Bull.

The resurrected iconic jet-powered speedboat Bluebird K7 is to return to the water, with Loch Fad chosen for testing to take place in August.

Donald Campbell broke world speed records on water and land in the 1950s and 1960s before he was killed in Bluebird in 1967 on Coniston Water in the Lake District.

A close-up look at Bluebird. Photo by Mike Bull.

A close-up look at Bluebird. Photo by Mike Bull.

In 2001, Campbell’s body and the wreckage of Bluebird were recovered.

The Bluebird project based in North Shields is nearing the end of its 10 year rebuild. Although many had expected Bluebird to return to Coniston the speedboat will come to Bute during the first two weeks of August for testing, before then going on display at Ruskin Museum, Coniston.

Bill Smith from the Bluebird project, said: “I know Loch Fad because I used to go to Bute on holiday. It’s just about the right size. Not the sort of place you can get lots of people in the wrong place. It’s just perfect. It’s nice and shallow.

“We have to train our crew. It’s a two and a half tonne monster and we have not learnt how to handle it. We will have a few short runs, show it off a bit to say thank you for letting us use your place.

Bluebird K7 in the North Shields workshop. Photo by Mike Bull.

Bluebird K7 in the North Shields workshop. Photo by Mike Bull.

“It’s a big deal. We have been building it for 10 years. We have had people from all over the country come to see what we have been doing. In my case it’s been 22 years, as I started looking for it in 1996.

“It’s going to be interesting emotionally when she finally goes into the museum. People should see this. We want people to see all our hard work.”