Jetblack, Kiwi’s on speed.

Posted: October 20, 2011 in All, Events

Unveiled on the 17th of October 2011 at The Cloud, Auckland, was a full scale model of New Zealand’s very first attempt at breaking the world land speed record, the Jetblack.

Jetblack is a childhood dream of founder and project director Richard Nowland, a 30 year old Auckland business man. Richard has gathered together a team comprising of some very brainy people who will be lending their expertise to the project. There are many involved but some of the main experts in their field are:

RNZAF Wing Commander Stephen Hunt who will be driving the Jetblack. Stephen has an impressive CV including being an ex-RAF Harrier pilot and has flown numerous tours in far flung places such as Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq, these tours included night strike attacks and offensive air support.

Richard Roake, Aerodynamics specialist.

Glynne Bowsher, wheel design.

RNZAF Wing Commander Frank Dyer, lead designer.

The plan for Jetblack’s attempt to smash the world land speed record is to make the first attempt by 2016. This project is more that just going after a record that has stood since Thrust SSC’s Andy Green set it at 763mph back in 1997, it’s also about show casing “New Zealand’s engineering and innovation capabilities”. This will be a great way to showcase kiwi’s can do attitude and keep New Zealand’s technologies and know-how at the pointy end of world class design.

Some of the stats for Jetblack:

Carbon fibre monocoque chassis

Turbofan engine 17-20,000lb thrust range

2 x 20,000lb thrust hybrid rockets

Length: 12.9m

Width: 2.5m

Height: 2.65m to the top of the tail fin and 1.65 for the body

Weight: estimated to be around 3,500kg empty

Wheels: 850mm diameter forged aluminium, no rubber here!

More details can be seen at

Thanks to Rod Johns & Andy Gillingham for the camera work & editing.

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