Testing time for crew

Bluebird was welcomed last Friday evening by Rothesay Pipe Band and an excited crowd of locals.
Bluebird was welcomed last Friday evening by Rothesay Pipe Band and an excited crowd of locals.

The crew of the Bluebird K7 have been busy since arriving on Bute last Friday, carrying out tests at Loch Fad on the iconic hydroplane.

Bluebird took to the water for the first time in over half a century last Sunday, before a proper run on Monday.

Bluebird on Loch Fad. Photo by Iain Cochrane.

Bluebird on Loch Fad. Photo by Iain Cochrane.

It has taken 17 painstaking years and a small army of dedicated volunteers in North Shields to restore Bluebird to her former glory. Her team is now working out how to handle a craft, which can reach up to 276mph.

Speaking to The Buteman on Tuesday just after a canopy blew off Bluebird at 200mph, Bill Smith from the team, said: “She is a bit of a sick puppy just now.

“We had a couple of little technical problems on Monday then this morning we had the canopy issue.

“But the pilot dealt with it perfectly and stopped safely.

Bluebird on Loch Fad. Photo by Iain Cochrane.

Bluebird on Loch Fad. Photo by Iain Cochrane.

“The team are building a new canopy now then we will get back on the water.”

Last Friday the craft received a rapturous welcome to the island as it arrived via ferry at Rothesay Harbour.

Bill, who had previously enjoyed many holidays on Bute in his youth, added: “It’s good. I love it here. Always did. It’s just great to be back. I loved that welcome, we really enjoyed it.

“That’s one of the reasons we chose Bute as we knew that would happen.

Crowds turned out to welcome Bluebird to Rothesay. Photo by Iain Cochrane.

Crowds turned out to welcome Bluebird to Rothesay. Photo by Iain Cochrane.

“It’s been like going on holiday with my mates. We have just brought the Bluebird along with us!”

Donald Campbell’s Bluebird K7 tragically crashed on Coniston Water in 1967. It was recovered in 2001.

Bluebird arrives by ferry in Rothesay. Photo by Iain Cochrane.

Bluebird arrives by ferry in Rothesay. Photo by Iain Cochrane.