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World speed record for wind-powered car

Toyota car
The Greenbird may not look much like this, but it's an equally impressive feat of engineering

British boffins are celebrating this morning after a Hampshire engineer succeeded in adding a hefty 10mph to the world land speed record – for a vehicle powered by wind.

Richard Jenkins from Hampshire drove his Ecotricity Greenbird car to 126.1mph across a dry lake bed in Nevada, USA, breaking the previous record by just over 10mph.

Part F1 car

The car, which Jenkins describes as "part aeroplane, part sailboat, part Formula One car" can travel at up to five times the actual wind speed, depending on the nature of the surface it's running on.

Its thin, green shell is topped by a vertical sail that generates forward thrust from just the airflow across it. The principle is no different to the lift effect generated by an aircraft's wings.

After the record-breaking run, Jenkins described the achievement as a "great result for ... British engineering" before promising to go on to tackle the record for driving on ice.