Watch: UCT team smashes world rocket record - TechCentral

Watch: UCT team smashes world rocket record

A team from the University of Cape Town has broken a long-standing water rocket record.

The new record of 830m surpassed the eight-year-old record of 623m set by US Water Rockets and the achievement was ratified by the Water Rocket Achievement World Record Association on Wednesday.

The team created a 2,68m rocket with computer controller weighing in at 1,5kg for the record attempt. The rocket achieved 550km/h in 0,5 seconds.

The project was started in 2013 by undergraduates Stuart Swan and Donovan Changfoot, but though the first launch attempt reached 600m, the carbon-fibre tube leaked air, nullifying any record attempt.

Ascension II was launched in December 2014, but failed on take-off.

But the team took the lessons from failure to successfully deploy Ascension ΙΙΙ on 26 August in Elandsberg in the Western Cape.

Research group supervisor Prof Arnaud Malan could not contain his glee.

“The competition is truly multidisciplinary in nature and requires pushing state-of-the-art technology in areas ranging from mechanical design and lean manufacture to computer-based mathematical modelling. It is like the Olympics of water rocketry and pits us against the best and brightest in the world. Clearly, we are now the undisputed best of the best,” he said.

He said the team was eyeing future plans, but couldn’t elaborate. “We are working on potentially a next level where we want take this to, but we are a little bit sensitive.”  — Fin24

1 Comment

  1. Hitting Thefan on

    So sad that we currently live in a country where the government does not make it a priority to secure and capitalise on the skills on these gifted individuals that form part of these record breaking programmes. We used to have pioneering individuals but it seems that we are loosing a lot to other countries.