Speed Demon’s Dream
Wellington entrepreneur Richard Nowland is the man behind the only jet-powered car ever designed and built in New Zealand. Nowland purchased a Rolls-Royce Avon 206 turbojet engine and intends to transform it into New Zealand’s first purpose-built land- speed record car. Aiming to blitz the record at home (347kmh) and in Australia (801kmh), the carbon-kevlar- over-steel-space-frame project is entitled Jetblack. Its name picks up on the propulsion of the vehicle and also its symbolisation of how New Zealand can compete with the best the world has to offer. Nowland, the project manager and probable driver, hopes Jetblack will be seen as a metaphor and an inspiration for Kiwi capabilities. “I want to involve as many New Zealanders as possible, especially our future generation of engineers and innovators, and I will be approaching schools and universities to invite them to participate in the project,” he said. “The whole thing with the project isn’t just to have something to go fast, it is about promoting New Zealand engineering and technology.” Jetblack is on track for testing to begin early in 2010.