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Dates set for record breaking Bluebird's return home

The restored Bluebird takes to the water for the first time in more than 50 years off the Isle of Bute on the west coast of Scotland Credit: Press Association

Record-breaking hydroplane Bluebird K7 is set to return to its spiritual home in the Lake District next summer.

The jet-powered boat will provisionally undergo trials on Coniston Water in Cumbria between July 19 and 28, said the Bluebird Event Working Group. Its pilot, Donald Campbell, died on January 4 1967 aged 45 when Bluebird flipped into the air and disintegrated as he attempted a new water speed record on Coniston Water.

The original bluebird when recovered from the water Credit: Press Association

In 2001 Campbell's body - with his race suit intact - and the wreckage of Bluebird were recovered from the depths of the lake and he was buried later that year in the village of Coniston.

Volunteers have been working on the hydroplane's restoration under the leadership of Tyneside-based engineer Bill Smith.

In August, Bluebird - fitted with a new jet engine - hit speeds of around 150mph during successful tests and crew training on Loch Fad on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

Donald Campbell on his Bluebird K7 at Lake Coniston, Cumbria Credit: Press Association

Anthony Robinson, chairman of the working group and a Bluebird K7 team member in 1967, said next year's relaunch at Coniston would attract worldwide interest with a festival of events planned.

Following the trials and decommissioning, he said Bluebird would be ready to go into the purpose-built Bluebird Wing of the Ruskin Museum in the heart of the village.

Mr Robinson said: "The restored Bluebird K7 will be an inspirational exhibit to all who view her in the Ruskin Museum - especially the younger members of our society, who can learn from and be inspired by both the craft's marvellous historic achievements and the bravery of her iconic pilot Donald Campbell, who drove her, and the engineering skills of the team who have restored her."

Donald Campbell piloting Bluebird before the disaster on Coniston Water Credit: Press Association

Campbell broke eight world speed records on water and on land in the 1950s and 1960s.

In his fatal record attempt, the son of Sir Malcolm Campbell, who himself held land and water speed records, had set himself a target of reaching 300mph (480kph) on Coniston Water.

An application will need to be submitted to the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) for the proving trial event to permit an exemption to its 10mph speed limit byelaw.

The authority says it also requires a "thoroughly considered public event plan".

LDNPA officials say they are committed to supporting the return of Bluebird to Coniston.

An exemption to the byelaw enabled Jaguar Vector Racing to set the world electric speed record in a battery-powered boat on Coniston Water in June.