Mission Aviation Fellowship

UK students win Paris Airshow rocketry award

Members of the Ridgeway Rocket Club from Ridgeway School and Sixth Form College, were crowned International Rocketry Challenge Champions at the 2023 Paris Airshow. The three students won the prestigious rocketry award after completing an international fly-off against teams from the US, Japan, and France. It is the first time a UK team have won the International Rocketry Challenge since 2019.

The stringent 2023 mission requirements to win the award required each team to design, build and launch a model rocket capable of carrying a raw egg above 850 ft. within 42-45 seconds. Then return the fragile payload to the ground, un-broken. There was also a requirement for the teams to present their logbooks and experience to a panel of judges as part of the evaluation process. The presentation included mission photos from onboard rocket cameras.

ADS chief executive, Kevin Craven said, “I am absolutely thrilled to see Ridgeway Rocket Club win the International Rocketry Challenge at Paris Airshow. The team have done an outstanding job representing the UK and it’s been fantastic watching the progress they have made throughout the competition.

“The UK Rocketry and International Rocketry Challenges continue to be a fantastic example of how industry can support and encourage young people into exciting STEM hobbies and inspire them into a career in our industries. Ridgeway Rocket Club’s skills for their age are remarkable and I congratulate all of them on making it to the international finals and thank all the international teams for taking part,” adds Craven.

According to the chairman at Airbus Defence and Space, Ben Bridge, it has been a real pleasure in sponsoring this event right from the very beginning, and to see so many innovative young people demonstrate such talent. “Airbus is delighted to invest in STEM activities such as this, which are crucial to develop the next generation for our vibrant UK space industry,” says Bridge.

Rules governing the International Rocketry Challenge final are altered each year to encourage innovative thinking amongst participants and ensure previous designs cannot be repeated.

“The team have put in an enormous amount of work and we’re so proud of our International Champions! Their winning flight was excellent, and they scored 58 out of a possible 60 for their technical presentation. Thank you to ADS, Airbus and everyone who made it happen. The experience for the team has been amazing. I hope to see lots of teams entering UKROC 2024,” says Andy Brice, Ridgeway Rocket Club.

Image accredited to Andy Brice

Author: FTN Editor

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