Cavendish sponsorship helps IOM students with prestigious Rocketry Challenge

April 16, 2014 By

Cape Canaveral it might not be, but the open expanse of Jurby Airfield on the Isle of Man could soon be the launch site for the next generation of space pioneers.

It’s there that students from schools across the island will be putting their technological skills to the test as part of the UK Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKAYRoC). The event is designed to encourage teams of 11-18 years olds from across the British Isles to enter the world of aerospace, engineering and science by designing, building and launching rockets to exacting specifications.

The Challenge is to achieve a target altitude of 825 feet with each rocket and to fly for between 48 and 50 seconds. The payload must consist of two raw medium sized hen’s eggs and the entire rocket should return to the ground safely using two same-sized parachutes. The gross lift-off weight should not exceed 650 grams.

UKAYRoC is now the UK’s largest model rocket showcase with a prestigious prize for the winning entry. Any team successfully navigating the test stages has the chance to compete in the UK finals in June, with the overall winner going forward to compete in an International Fly-Off against teams from America, France and Japan at the 2014 Farnborough International Air show in July. They will also receive an all expenses paid aerospace trip to Paris and Toulouse.

The five participating Isle of Man teams can be rightly proud of their efforts, according to Tina Rawlinson, Director of Cavendish Trust, a main sponsor of the local event and one of the jurisdiction’s leading trust and corporate service providers with strong links to the space industry.

“Given the Isle of Man’s international reputation as a jurisdiction of space excellence, we’re delighted to be giving our backing to the event,” she said. “The fact that we have as many as five teams entering from the Isle of Man just shows the enthusiasm and commitment of students on the Island. It would be very fitting if one of them could go all the way and compete at Farnborough.”

The teams from St Ninians, Ballakermeen and Castle Rushen face stiff competition with as many as 150 entries from across Britain taking part, with 30 being shortlisted for the final.
“There is definitely a sense of eager anticipation as we approach the event and let’s hope that the weather is kind to us so that each team can do full justice to their rocketry skills,” said MeShell Berry, the Events and Competition Organiser from the Isle of Man Government’s Department of Education and Children.

Thursday May 1st is the day set aside for the Isle of Man Challenge, but if the weather proves unfavourable for launch, an alternative date of 4th May has been earmarked at Ronaldsway Aircraft Company in Ballasalla.