Bluebird K3

80 years after it’s last record breaking run Bluebird K3 returned to Lake Maggiore – the fulfilment of one mans dream….

We have been documenting the project since 2011 from the first float test through to the run back on water it Switzerland.

World Speed Records

1st September 1937 – Lake Maggiore – 126.32mph
2nd September 1937 – Lake Maggiore – 129.5mph
17th August 1938 – Lake Hallwyl – 130.91mph


1937/1938 Single Step Hydroplane
Designer : Fred Cooper M.Inst.N.A
Consultant Engineer : Reid Railton
Builders : Saunders Roe Ltd (I.O.W)

Engine (Original)
Vee 12 Rolls Royce R37(1st), R39(2nd)
Displacement: 36.7 litres
Carburation: fuel injection, aviation petrol, Benzol, methonol and tetra ethyl lead mix
Power output: 2,150hp
Propeller speed: 9,000rpm
Gearbox ratio: 3 to 1 on engine rev

Displacement: 4,945 lb (2,243K)
Construction: Mahogany frame with Two Rock Elm and Alloy runners
Sides: double diagonal Mahogany sandwiching a calico membrane,
Deck: doped aircraft canvas covering plywood planking
Bottom: 5 ply timber
Fittings: Alcan and Duralmin

Length waterline: 22′ 3″ (6.782m)
Draught: 1′ 9″ (0.533m)
Beam: 9′ 6″ (2.895m)
Rise of floor amidships: 3º
Rise of aft amidships: 2º
Beam/length ratio: 2.4 to 1
Propeller pitch: 20″ or 27″ (508/638mm)
Propeller diameter: 12″ or 14″ (305/355mm)