At least one hundred and fifty miles per hour
The Firebolt is a world-class broomstick. It was the fastest at the time of its production, and was released in 1993. In time, the Firebolt broomstick was used in the Bulgarian and Irish International Quidditch Teams.
It is capable of going from nought to one hundred and fifty miles per hour in ten seconds. The Firebolt also boasts an unbreakable Braking Charm, superb balance and precision, and hovers at reasonable mounting height when let go. By 1994, the Firebolt was the fastest broomstick in the whole world.
The handle is made of polished ebony (once mistakenly listed as ash in a Quality Quidditch Supplies advertisement), and the twigs can be made of either birch or hazel depending on customer preference. Birch twigs offer more "oomph" when ascending, while hazel provides more precision in turning. The metal parts of the broom are goblin-made ironwork, a first for a broomstick, which increases stability and power in adverse conditions and prevents slippage on the foot grips.
The Firebolt was first developed by Randolph Spudmore around 1993, at a time when brooms made by the Nimbus Racing Broom Company dominated the market. Twelve months after its release, the Firebolt was the highest-selling racing broom of that time, beating out the Nimbus 2000 and 2001.
Harry Potter first saw a prototype Firebolt broom in the window of Quality Quidditch Supplies in the summer before his third year. He wanted one, but he already had a Nimbus 2000 and had to remind himself of that to keep himself from going in and asking what the price was. It was said that he would have to empty his vault in Gringotts, should he actually purchase the Firebolt.
Every day that he was in Diagon Alley, before his third year at Hogwarts, he made sure that he passed the window so that he could stare in awe at the amazing and magnificent broom. He received a Firebolt as an anonymous present from his godfather, Sirius Black at Christmas 1993, after his Nimbus 2000 was destroyed by the Whomping Willow during a Quidditch match against Hufflepuff team. Miniature models were also produced as gifts. In 1995, Harry's Firebolt was confiscated by Dolores Umbridge as punishment. She kept it in her office until Fred and George Weasley destroyed her office door during their exit from Hogwarts. It was then said to have been taken to one of the Dungeons where it was guarded by a Troll at all times. Harry presumably was given back his Firebolt after Umbridge was fired. Harry was the only person in Hogwarts that owned a Firebolt. Harry lost his Firebolt in the Battle of the Seven Potters.
Firebolts continue to be made in small quantities in the modern day, though their development is hindered by frequent strikes and walkouts on the part of the goblins who manufacture the iron parts.
Behind the scenes
- Because Firebolt broomsticks hover at convenient mounting height when not in use, the usefulness of the apparently undetachable bipod is questionable, except for display, such as in the window of Quality Quidditch Supplies in Diagon Alley, or as a footrest when one is on the broom but apparently, it is used as a foot-rest as it was shown in many occasions in the films that the characters half stand on the bipods and also rest their feet on them.
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film), Ron Weasley is seen using a similar bipod to stabilize his stance while playing Keeper. This may be the intended function of the Firebolt's bipod.
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Firebolt's handle is stated to be made of superfine ash. Pottermore, however, lists it as having an ebony handle. It is possible, however, that the person who wrote the advertisement that stated it to be ash was mistaken.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (GBA version only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4