Four students from Tonbridge School, Kent, were named as runners-up after they competed in an international fly-off in the Youth Rocketry Challenge against teams representing the USA, Japan and France at Farnborough International Airshow.

The Tonbridge School team presented the design and build of their rocket, reflecting on the challenges and findings in test phases, as well as their overall experience of the UK Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKRoC), which they won to reach the international final.

The second part of the international finals required the teams to design, build and launch a model rocket, with two raw eggs inside. They needed to get closest to 800 feet in altitude within a desired timeframe of 41-43 seconds. In a closely fought fly-off, the winning rocket flew closest to the required time limit and altitude. Tonbridge School placed 4th in the competition.

Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of ADS Group, said:

“My warmest congratulations to the team from Tonbridge School who have done a great job in achieving fourth place at the international finals of the Youth Rocketry Challenge. It’s been great to see the progress they have made throughout the competition, and I’m proud of the performance – they did a great job representing the UK.

“The Youth Rocketry Challenge is a great example of how industry can support and encourage young people into exciting hobbies and careers in aerospace. The skills that have been demonstrated by all of the competitors are remarkable for their ages and I congratulate all of them on making it to the international finals. If this is what the future of our industry looks like, we’ll be in safe hands.”

The international rocketry final is the culmination of four separate competitions held annually around the globe: the UK Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKRoC); the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC); the French Rocketry Challenge; and the Japanese Rocketry Challenge.

The Rocketon team from Tonbridge School are the UKRoC champions, beating teams from across the UK to win a place at the international finals at Farnborough International Airshow.

Takuya Boehringer, a rocketeer from Tonbridge School, said:

“Researching some of the aerodynamics was really fun and I learnt a lot of physics that I wouldn’t have outside of the competition.

“An air show is the best place to hold a rocketry competition, not only do you get to launch your rocket but you get to see amazing things as well.”

The aerospace and space industries collectively employ 160,000 people across the UK, at companies such as Lockheed Martin, Airbus, BAE Systems, GKN, MBDA and Rolls Royce and are supported by nationwide supply chains. UKRoC is a great introduction to the skills used by many of these organisations which provide high-value and well paid careers locally.