Rainey Rocketeering 2018

Rainey Rocketeering 2018



Out with the old and in with the new. For 2018 a fresh band of rocketeers took up the challenge to design and build an exceptional red and black Rainey rocket.
The knowledge of previous successful teams had been carefully handed down and so the new cohort were well equipped to defend Rainey’s title as UKRoC regional champions this year.


The challenge – launch a payload of two raw hen’s eggs to a height of 800ft and return them safely to ground without any breaks or cracks. Sounds straight forward but in practice, well… quite tricky actually!


The team, made up of both Technology & Design and Construction students began to design the vehicle to do just that. One large single thruster to power the rocket (known as a Smokey Sam due to the black trail left upon launch), three swept back sharpened plywood fins and a differential diameter body coupled with a bespoke 3D print completed the rocket. The recovery system was provided by two parachutes which would be deployed after reaching maximum altitude. Again this year, this was only made possible by the kind sponsorship of Moyola Precision Engineering.


On a sunny day at the end of April schools from all over N.Ireland assembled at Langford Lodge on the shore of Lough Neagh to send their creations skyward. Rainey were due to launch second. Three launches were permitted. Launch, read the height data from the onboard altimeter and make the necessary adjustments to the motor to home into the desired 800ft. That was the plan. It was a good plan and scientifically sound, except the first launch completely destroyed our rocket. The height was lower than expected and the parachutes opened only moments before impact. We had spare parts but what we really needed was a spare rocket. Nothing was salvageable. Remarkably, the team rallied and to the amazement of the other schools walked back onto the range with just that. A completely new rocket. As good as the old in every way except for the sleek paint job. This time things went much better and the eggs? Intact. A superb effort and speaks volumes for the resilience of the new cohort of Rainey Rocketeers. We hadn’t won but we had proved that we wouldn’t be easily beaten. We congratulate Bloomfield College, to whom we hand our title in 2018 and wish them the very best of flights in the National Final held at the end of May in Buckminster.