1429 (Cardigan) Squadron Rocket Challenge



Image above from left to right: Cpl Paul Kemp, Cadet Shaun Leake, Cpl Lisa Bradshaw, Cdt Harry Upton and Cdt George Phillips with the qualifying rocket.

One Small Step For 1429 Squadron________________________________________________________________

Cardigan and Aberporth squadron have made it through to the finals of the United Kingdom Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKAYRoC).  The rocket challenge was set up to “Encourage school children to enter the world of aerospace and science” This is achieved by setting the young people challenges in the following areas:

  • Technical Challenge – Provide secondary school students aged 11-18 a realistic experience in designing a flying aerospace vehicle that meets a specified set of mission and performance requirements.

  • Team Work – Students work together in teams in the same way as aerospace engineers do.

  • Business Challenge – Teams have to meet deadlines and raise funds to participate.

The 2012 Challenge involve the five cadets on the team designing, building and launching a rocket with a payload off two raw hens’ eggs to a height of exactly 800ft. The rocket must not weigh more than 650g and should be returned to the ground without breaking the eggs. If that was not difficult enough, the flight from take off to touch down must be within 43 to 47 seconds. A perfect score with unbroken eggs is zero. Points are added for any deviation in height, or flight time. The top 20 out of this year’s 69 entrants with the lowest score qualified for the final. The team consisting of Cpl Paul Kemp, Cpl Lisa Bradshaw, Cdt Shaun Leake, Cdt Harry Upton and Cdt George Phillips, started designing their rocket five weeks ago.

They then source the materials and built two prototypes of their rocket. They tested their rocket on Poppit Sands beach on Tuesday 27 March and too their delight the rocket not only flew it came within 33 feet of the height needed. After a lot of small modifications and more flights, the cadets returned to Poppit on Saturday 31 and managed to launch their rocket to just over 800 ft and within the flight time they needed. To add to this, 1429 never lost any eggs in space. The UK finals will be held mid May at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire.

This is just the start for 1429 as they want to continue the rocket programme throughout the year. Model Rocketry is part of the Corps Propulsions syllabus so not only will it give the cadets a chance to get involved with the practical side of model rocketry it will also prepare them for next year’s challenge. We are hoping to enter two or three teams next year.

The team would like to thank QinetiQ for their support this year both with funding and with their encouragement and advice. We are looking forward to working with them throughout the year in supporting our Model Rocket Programme.

Pictures and article kindly supplied by: Rev Keith Bradshaw, 1429 (Cardigan) Squadron Padre

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