|Birth Day:||March 23, 1921|
|Death Date:||Jan 4, 1967 (age 45)|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Donald Campbell died on Jan 4, 1967 (age 45).
He worked as a maintenance engineer after being turned down to serve in the Royal Air Force.
Following low-speed tests conducted at the Goodwood motor racing circuit in Sussex, in July, the CN7 was taken to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, United States, scene of his father's last land speed record triumph, some 25 years earlier in September 1935. The trials initially went well, and various adjustments were made to the car. On the sixth run in CN7, Campbell lost control at over 360 mph and crashed. It was the car's tremendous structural integrity that saved his life. He was hospitalised with a fractured skull and a burst eardrum, as well as minor cuts and bruises, but CN7 was a write-off. Almost immediately, Campbell announced he was determined to have another go. Sir Alfred Owen, whose Rubery Owen industrial group had built CN7, offered to rebuild it for him. That single decision was to have a profound influence on the rest of Campbell's life. His original plan had been to break the land speed record at over 400 mph in 1960, return to Bonneville the following year to really bump up the speed to something near to 500 mph, get his seventh water speed record with K7 and then retire, as undisputed champion of speed and perhaps just as important, secure in the knowledge that he was worthy of his father's legacy.
He married three times — to Daphne Harvey in 1945, producing daughter Georgina (Gina) Campbell, born on 19 September 1946; to Dorothy McKegg (1928–2008) in 1952; and to Tonia Bern in December 1958, which lasted until his death in 1967. Campbell was intensely superstitious, hating the colour green, the number thirteen and believing nothing good ever happened on a Friday. He also had some interest in the paranormal, which he nurtured as a member of the Ghost Club.
Campbell began his speed record attempts in the summer of 1949, using his father's old boat, Blue Bird K4, which he renamed Bluebird K4. His initial attempts that summer were unsuccessful, although he did come close to raising his father's existing record. The team returned to Coniston Water, Lancashire in 1950 for further trials. While there, they heard that an American, Stanley Sayres, had raised the record from 141 to 160 mph (227 to 257 km/h), beyond K4's capabilities without substantial modification.
Along with Campbell, Britain had another potential contender for water speed record honours — John Cobb. He had commissioned the world's first purpose-built turbojet Hydroplane, Crusader, with a target speed of over 200 mph (320 km/h), and began trials on Loch Ness in autumn 1952. Cobb was killed later that year, when Crusader broke up, during an attempt on the record. Campbell was devastated at Cobb's loss, but he resolved to build a new Bluebird boat to bring the water speed record back to Britain.
In early 1953, Campbell began development of his own advanced all-metal jet-powered Bluebird K7 hydroplane to challenge the record, by now held by the American prop rider hydroplane Slo-Mo-Shun IV. Designed by Ken and Lew Norris, the K7 was a steel-framed, aluminium-bodied, three-point hydroplane with a Metropolitan-Vickers Beryl axial-flow turbojet engine, producing 3,500-pound-force (16 kN) of thrust.
Campbell set seven world water speed records in K7 between July 1955 and December 1964. The first of these marks was set at Ullswater on 23 July 1955, where he achieved a speed of 202.32 mph (325.60 km/h) but only after many months of trials and a major redesign of Bluebird's forward sponson attachments points. Campbell achieved a steady series of subsequent speed-record increases with the boat during the rest of the decade, beginning with a mark of 216 mph (348 km/h) in 1955 on Lake Mead in Nevada. Subsequently, four new marks were registered on Coniston Water, where Campbell and Bluebird became an annual fixture in the latter half of the 1950s, enjoying significant sponsorship from the Mobil oil company and then subsequently BP.
It was after the Lake Mead water speed record success in 1955 that the seeds of Campbell's ambition to hold the land speed record as well were planted. The following year, the serious planning was under way — to build a car to break the land speed record, which then stood at 394 mph (634 km/h) set by John Cobb in 1947. The Norris brothers designed Bluebird-Proteus CN7 with 500 mph (800 km/h) in mind.
In 1956, he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews for the seventh episode of the new television show This Is Your Life.
Campbell was awarded the CBE in January 1957 for his water speed record breaking, and in particular his record at Lake Mead in the United States, which earned him and Britain very positive acclaim.
To extract more speed, and endow the boat with greater high speed stability, in both pitch and yaw, K7 was subtly modified in the second half of the 1950s to incorporate more effective streamlining with a blown Perspex cockpit canopy and fluting to the lower part of the main hull. In 1958, a small wedge shaped tail fin, housing an arrester parachute, modified sponson fairings, that gave a significant reduction in forward aerodynamic lift, and a fixed hydrodynamic stabilising fin, attached to the transom to aid directional stability, and exert a marginal down-force on the nose were incorporated into the design to increase the safe operating envelope of the hydroplane. Thus she reached 225 mph (362 km/h) in 1956, where an unprecedented peak speed of 286.78 mph (461.53 km/h) was achieved on one run, 239 mph (385 km/h) in 1957, 248 mph (399 km/h) in 1958 and 260 mph (420 km/h) in 1959.
To make matters worse for Campbell, American Craig Breedlove drove his pure thrust jet car "Spirit of America" to a speed of 407.45 miles per hour (655.73 km/h) at Bonneville in July 1963. Although the "car" did not conform to FIA (Federation Internationale de L'Automobile) regulations, that stipulated it had to be wheel-driven and have a minimum of four wheels, in the eyes of the world, Breedlove was now the fastest man on Earth.
On 23 November 1964, Donald Campbell achieved the Australian water speed record of 216 miles per hour (348 km/h) on Lake Bonney Riverland in South Australia, although he was unable to smash the world record on that attempt.
Campbell returned to Australia in March 1964, but the Lake Eyre course failed to fulfil the early promise it had shown in 1962 and there were further spells of rain. BP pulled out as his main sponsor after a dispute, but he was able to secure backing from Australian oil company Ampol.
The track never properly dried out and Campbell was forced to make the best of the conditions. Finally, in July 1964, he was able to post some speeds that approached the record. On the 17th of that month, he took advantage of a break in the weather and made two courageous runs along the shortened and still damp track, posting a new land speed record of 403.10 mph (648.73 km/h). The surreal moment was captured in a number of well-known images by photographers, including Australia's Jeff Carter. Campbell was bitterly disappointed with the record as the vehicle had been designed for much higher speeds. CN7 covered the final third of the measured mile at an average of 429 mph (690 km/h), peaking as it left the measured distance at over 440 mph (710 km/h). He resented the fact that it had all been so difficult. "We've made it — we got the bastard at last," was his reaction to the success. Campbell's 403.1 mph represented the official land speed record.
Campbell decided a massive jump in speed was called for following his successful 1964 land speed record attempt in Bluebird CN7. His vision was of a supersonic rocket car with a potential maximum speed of 840 mph (1,350 km/h). Norris Brothers were requested to undertake a design study. Bluebird Mach 1.1 was a design for a rocket-powered supersonic land speed record car. Campbell chose a lucky date to hold a press conference at the Charing Cross Hotel on 7 July 1965 to announce his future record breaking plans:
On 4 January 1967, weather conditions were finally suitable for an attempt. Campbell commenced the first run of his last record attempt at just after 8:45 am. Bluebird moved slowly out towards the middle of the lake, where she paused briefly as Campbell lined her up. With a deafening blast of power, Campbell now applied full throttle and Bluebird began to surge forward. Clouds of spray issued from the jet-pipe, water poured over the rear spar and after a few hundred yards, at 70 miles per hour (113 km/h), Bluebird unstuck from the surface and rocketed off towards the southern end of the lake, producing her characteristic comet's tail of spray. She entered the measured kilometre at 8:46 am. Leo Villa witnessed her passing the first marker buoy at about 285 mph (459 km/h) in perfect steady planing trim, her nose slightly down, still accelerating. 7.525 seconds later, Keith Harrison saw her leave the measured kilometre at a speed of over 310 mph (500 km/h). The average speed for the first run was 297.6 mph (478.9 km/h). Campbell lifted his foot from the throttle about 3/10 of a second before passing the southern kilometre marker. As Bluebird left the measured kilometre, Keith Harrison and Eric Shaw in a course boat at the southern end of the measured kilometre both noticed that she was very light around the bows, riding on her front stabilising fins. Her planing trim was no worse than she had exhibited when equipped with the Beryl engine, but it was markedly different from that observed by Leo Villa at the northern end of the kilometre, when she was under full acceleration. Campbell had made his usual commentary throughout the run.
On 28 January 1967 Campbell was posthumously awarded the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct "for courage and determination in attacking the world water speed record."
In 1969, after Campbell's fatal accident, his widow, Tonia Bern-Campbell negotiated a deal with Lynn Garrison, president of Craig Breedlove and Associates, that would see Craig Breedlove run Bluebird on Bonneville's Salt Flats. This concept was cancelled when the parallel Spirit of America supersonic car project failed to find support.
The story of Campbell's last attempt at the water speed record on Coniston Water was told in the BBC television film Across the Lake in 1988, with Anthony Hopkins as Campbell. Nine years earlier, Robert Hardy had played Campbell's father, Sir Malcolm Campbell, in the BBC2 Playhouse television drama "Speed King"; both were written by Roger Milner and produced by Innes Lloyd. In 2003, the BBC showed a documentary reconstruction of Campbell's fateful water-speed record attempt in an episode of Days That Shook the World. It featured a mixture of modern reconstruction and original film footage. All of the original colour clips were taken from a film capturing the event, Campbell at Coniston by John Lomax, a local amateur filmmaker from Wallasey, England. Lomax's film won awards worldwide in the late 1960s for recording the final weeks of Campbell's life.
Mr Whoppit, Campbell's teddy bear mascot, was found among the floating debris and the pilot's helmet was recovered. Royal Navy divers made efforts to find and recover the body but, although the wreck of K7 was found, they called off the search, after two weeks, without locating his body. Campbell's body was finally located in 2001.
The wreckage of Campbell's craft was recovered by the Bluebird Project between October 2000, when the first sections were raised, and May 2001, when Campbell's body was recovered. The largest section comprising approximately two-thirds of the centre hull was raised on 8 March 2001. The project began when diver Bill Smith was inspired to look for the wreck after hearing the Marillion song "Out of this World" (from the album Afraid of Sunlight), which was written about Campbell and Bluebird.
Campbell's body was finally located just over two months later and recovered from the lake on 28 May 2001, still wearing his blue nylon overalls. On the night before his death, while playing cards he had drawn the queen and the ace of spades. Reflecting upon the fact that Mary, Queen of Scots had drawn the same two cards the night before she was beheaded, he told his mechanics, who were playing cards with him, that he had a fearful premonition that he was going to "get the chop". It was not possible to determine the cause of Campbell's death, though a consultant engineer giving evidence to the inquest said that the force of the impact could have caused him to be decapitated. When his remains were found, his skull was not present and is still missing.
Campbell was buried in Coniston Cemetery on 12 September 2001 after his coffin was carried down the lake, and through the measured kilometre, on a launch, one last time. A funeral service was then held at St Andrew's Church in Coniston, after an earlier, and positive DNA examination had been carried out. The funeral was attended by his widow Tonia, daughter Gina, other members of his family, members of his former team and admirers. The funeral was overshadowed in the media by coverage of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Campbell's sister, Jean Wales, had been against the recovery of her brother's body out of respect for his stated wish that, in the event of something going wrong, "Skipper and boat stay together". Jean Wales did, however, remain in daily telephone contact with project leader Bill Smith during the recovery operation in anticipation of any news of her brother's remains. When Campbell was buried in Coniston Cemetery on 12 September 2001 she did not attend the service. Steve Hogarth, lead singer for Marillion, was present at the funeral and performed the song "Out of this World" solo.
In the village of Coniston, the Ruskin Museum has a display of Donald Campbell memorabilia, and the Bristol Orpheus engine recovered in 2001 is also displayed. The engine's casing is mostly missing, having acted as a sacrificial anode in its time underwater, but the internals are remarkably preserved. Campbell's helmet from the ill-fated run is also on display.
On 20 March 2018 the restoration was featured on the BBC's The One Show, where it was announced that Bluebird K7 would return to the water on Loch Fad, on the Isle of Bute in Scotland, in August 2018 for handling trials.
In August 2018, initial restoration work on Bluebird was completed. She was transported to Loch Fad where she was refloated on 4 August 2018. Following initial engine trials on 5 August, Bluebird completed a series of test runs on the loch, reaching speeds of about 150 mph (240 km/h). For safety reasons, there are no plans to attempt to reach any higher speeds.
Donald married his third wife, Tonia Bern, in 1958. Donald had one daughter named Georgina.
Currently, Donald Campbell is 101 years, 6 months and 8 days old. Donald Campbell will celebrate 102nd birthday on a Thursday 23rd of March 2023. Below we countdown to Donald Campbell upcoming birthday.
Dr. Donald Campbell's 90th Birthday - DTS Voice
Dr. Mark Bailey, President of Dallas Theological Seminary, leads the seminary in celebrating the third president of the seminary, Dr. Donald Campbell.
Paulist Fr. Donald Campbell on his 89th birthday in 2019, pictured in the dining room of the Paulist Fathers motherhouse in New Y… | Campbell, Donald, 89th birthday
Mar 15, 2019 - Paulist Fr. Donald Campbell on his 89th birthday in 2019, pictured in the dining room of the Paulist Fathers motherhouse in New York City.