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Donald Campbell's Bluebird K7

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    XL391, just out of interest, did they discharge the chap from the Raf for doing it?! (excuse me for being thick)


      I never asked him to elaborate sadly, but I would imagine, reading what he has put, the rollicking was deemed enough punishment...
      "Good work Raymondo, I'm bumping you back up to DS, only this time make sure it stands for Detective Seargent and not Dog Sh*t..."


        Hi all

        Well after reading this thread and already having more than just a passing interest in the Campbell history I went down to Coniston while on holiday in the Lake District.

        I took the family down to the Bluebird Cafe on the launch at Lake Coniston and was blown away by the breathtaking views and the whole ambiance of the place was just awe inspiring.

        After lunch we walked into Coniston town and went to the Ruskin museum to see the Campbell exhibition they have there, all I can say is that I have never felt such emotion looking at the exhibits there, Campbells helmet that was recovered from the crash site shortly after the tragic accident was especially moving, I was pleased to see a donations box for the restoration of K7 which was added to before we departed.

        Well going from there we took in a stroll about town and being a modeller at heart I picked up a Bluebird K7 kit, then over to the Black Bull Hotel for a pint of Bluebird ale, shortly afterwards I left the family and paid my respects to the great man himself, sitting beside his grave in the church yard.

        To the guys involved with the recovery and restoration of K7 I would like to say keep up the good work and thankyou for everything that has been done in honour of Donald Campbell.

        Kindest regards,


        "Good luck Mr Gorsky!".


          Could you tell me about the kit , what scale is it , what is it made of , what was the cost and are there anymore in the series ?


            have you seen the scale one in which you can put a miniature gas turbine??? they look like a real laugh hehe


              Hi all

              The model is made by Speedline models, their website doesn't have any of these left on stock but you might be able to get them elsewhere online, a quick google might find them, mine cost about 30 IIRC from a quaint little sweet shop in Coniston town.

              It is a 1/24 scale vac-form kit, not really for the amature modeller, to be honest it's going to take me some time to do it right, Nashio, yes this kit can be converted to run on a small rocket motor or electric motor but I will be doing it as a desktop model.




              "Good luck Mr Gorsky!".


                Lancman you and the team are doing a stupendous job.

                I too can remember the sad death of this hero and his faithful speed machine.

                To see her back on the lake will be a very fitting tribute to Donald and to the rebuild team's hard work.

                "Reminds me of the time I sank the Tirpitz" comments a Spitfire pilot, "One pass of course, old boy."


                  Originally posted by FMK.6JOHN View Post
                  Hi all

                  It is a 1/24 scale vac-form kit, not really for the amature modeller, to be honest it's going to take me some time to do it right, Nashio, yes this kit can be converted to run on a small rocket motor or electric motor but I will be doing it as a desktop model.



                  john, i was looking around a while ago for some insane model to annoy my mother with and the thought of a wren gas turbine powered model intrigued me,


                  this is what i found 1/12 scale moulded GRP, still considering it, if you search there is one on youtube with a mini jet engine in

                  lancman, are you guys open to visitors any day or are weekends better?

                  Ben (nashio)


                    I'll say 'thank you' for the praise as the only 'member of the team' on here, though my own part in it all is very small and I'm in no way worthy of being counted with the guys who are weilding the hammer son her. (Though I've recently completed the new cockpit seat, with the headrest to do next)

                    I can't speak for the boat being 'open', being as I am several hundred miles away and not involved with her on a daily basis. That said, she's in a small-ish workshop that is packed with bits and pieces of her, to say nothing of her new engine, and room- and time- for visitors is at a premium. I know for sure that photography became an issue- now casual visitors are asked to not take pictures, as pictures of the progress etc are for now the project's main 'currency' when it comes to dealing with sponsors and giving interviews etc. Best just follow the progress on the project's website, and wait for the old girl to break cover, I'd say!

                    The 'Speedline' models are regularly available on Ebay for 25 plus postage from the guy that makes them- just search for 'Campbell Bluebird' and you'll almost certainly find one. Being a low detail vacform, I've never bothered with one personally.
                    The Bluebird Project


                      Unsure if anyone would be interested in a document I have linked to this news article:
                      I had the greatest of pleasures in meeting Ken Norris shortly after this news was published and a further discussion on BBC Radio Solent about the forgotten document (found in my loft!).
                      Ken explained that, 50 were individually put together and presented to key figures involved in the original Bluebird Project.
                      The one I have is copy number 11 and was originally issued to Sir Raymond Quilter, who was involved in parachutes. Ken also had one, and explained they were all different, none were exactly the same!
                      I've now been searching since 2001 to find another one but to no avail. Im happy to attach photographs if anyone is interested or receive information regarding the other 48!


                        Originally posted by Lancman View Post

                        We assume that the original came from donor Gnat XM691, which I'm told would have varied somewhat internally from later standard Gnats due to it's prototype status. How much harder that makes finding the right kind, heaven knows! But if anyone can help, please drop me a PM. Donation would be lovely, but we're happy to pay too.

                        I shall now return you to your normal programming, cheers!
                        You still looking for this guage Lancman? If so then pretty sure I had one in my hand today - didnt have the picture to compare it with hence not being 100% confident. Can confirm and collect it for you next week if needed.

                        Hooton Park

                        email - jonhoward23(at)


                          Resurrecting this old thread again to ask for some help from anyone who is interested in Bluebird.

                          Obviously what we want to do is run the boat back on Coniston water again- not at record speeds, nothing silly, but enough to kick up some spray and give her a good 'wetting' back at her spiritual home. However, Coniston now has a 10mph speed limit!!!
                          The only way this can currently be exceeded is during the annual records week, and the craft has to be attempting a record in it's class- which we won't be doing!

                          So, we're applying via the Lake District National Council for an amendment to that by-law, just for Bluebird. We easily got it through to public consultation, which is where we're at now.

                          Would it be possible for everyone to please fill in this (very quick) online form for us? You don't have to give any personal details or register at all, it's just a very quick questionnaire. If you answer from a 'yes, as often as possible' point of view, that'll do the trick.


                          The Bluebird Project



                            Best of luck!
                            10. Go in quickly - Punch hard - Get out!


                              Thank you, most kind!
                              The Bluebird Project


                                Done, the best of British to you all.


                                  Done, hope you win. If not, will you be forced over to Wast watter or is there a limit there too?


                                    done and dusted, she should definitely be allowed to run. cultural home of her and as an everlasting tribute to one of the bravest men in the world


                                      All done.. best of luck guys.
                                      Facebook page


                                        Done! Good luck.
                                        Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.


                                        The first quality needed is audacity


                                          Official press release- also asking for aid for something many of us here also care about!

                                          4th February 2009

                                          As you know we’re asking the Lake District National Park for
                                          permission to operate Bluebird K7 above the 10mph speed limit during
                                          her proving trials. We’d like to see this event take place next year
                                          and in a perfect world we’d prefer to do it on Coniston Water,
                                          Bluebird’s spiritual home.

                                          But to achieve this we need a modification to the local bylaw as the
                                          current law precludes us doing what we need to do. There’s an
                                          exception if you’re going for a record but we’re not. Running
                                          during Record’s Week has been suggested too as this takes place
                                          annually on Coniston and maybe the rules could be relaxed but it’s a
                                          big risk. The chances of getting a good enough forecast in November
                                          for us to even mobilise is slim indeed and it wouldn’t be fair on
                                          the records people either to have us keep interrupting an event
                                          they’d planned all year. We’d likely have to leave K7 in her
                                          workshop until spring and have a go somewhere else.

                                          We want to run this event sensitively and professionally with ever an
                                          eye to the environment and amenity of the local folks but we’d like
                                          to make it exciting and informative too so here’s what we need.
                                          Follow the link below and complete the form. We’d like to run
                                          sometime when the weather is likely to be kind and spend perhaps a
                                          week gradually working K7 back to fighting trim before she goes on
                                          display. And as she’s such a powerful inspirational and educational
                                          tool we’d also like to keep open the option to run her again
                                          sometime in the future. Thanks in advance.


                                          Now here’s the other thing you need to do. Go to the following
                                          website -
                                          - where you’ll find the team who worked so hard to return Avro
                                          Vulcan XH558 to full flying condition. The aircraft is ready to go.
                                          She’s fighting fit with a passionate crew just waiting to show her
                                          off but she’s also an expensive beast and unless they have our
                                          support – and let’s face it, the powers that be are too
                                          short-sighted to nurture this national asset – she’ll end up
                                          grounded once more.

                                          What a tragedy that would be! I want to take my kids to see a flying
                                          Vulcan rather then one of those sad and slowly corroding examples to
                                          seen outside of aircraft museums. So go and pledge them a fiver or a
                                          tenner and let’s keep this icon in the air for future generations…

                                          Bill Smith.

                                          (Bluebird Project Director)
                                          The Bluebird Project