The 6th Annual International Rocket Weekend, 1997

(12th Annual Scottish Rocket Weekend)

Date : Friday the 22nd, Saturday the 23rd, Sunday the 24th and Monday the 25th of August, 1997

Venue : Kelburn Country Centre, Ayrshire, Scotland.

Views from the Rocket Weekend main launch field, across to the Isle of Arran.

1997 Rocket Weekend Report

When you think the Scottish Rocket Weekend cannot get any better, it does ! Yes, the 1997 Annual International Rocket Weekend improved on the already highly successful 1996 Rocket Weekend. Not only was the weather perfect for almost the whole weekend (look at the photos !), but at least 80 people registered - more than ever before, although many more than this were present over the weekend, especially watching the public flying display, and the aquajet competitions. The advance guard, arriving overnight on Thursday were members of the M.A.R.S. Group and HART - they were also the last to leave, late on Monday.

This year, most HPR flights were staged from a more remote launch site, still in the grounds of Kelburn Country Centre. A NOTAM was acquired to allow higher altitude flights, as opposed to the generally low altitude flights from the main launch site.


A number of competitions were staged over the weekend, including Boost/Rocket Glider Competition, Heli-Roc Competition, Lander Competition and Team Aquajet Distance Competition. The results known so far (subject to confirmation) are as follows:

Boost/Rocket Glider Competition.

The boost/rocket glider competition, produced a good number of entrants as usual, as well as much enjoyment, with superb flights by the 3 ranked winners, the first two of whom, David Edgar and Julie Ince, produced nail-bitingly close flights of over 1 minute duration. The prize, a "Mustang" rocket, was donated by UK Rocketry supplier, HPR Limited to David Edgar. This year, following a disastrous run in the 1996 competition, Kevin Cave's 1997 delta winged entry flew successfully, so much so that he made it into the top 3.

Kevin Cave's delta winged boost glider (left), Julie Ince's modified Quest Flat Cat glider(right)

PositionName (Organisation)Flight Duration
Kit/Scratch-builtMotor TypeDescription
1.David Edgar1:04Scratch-builtUnusual 4 winged fin configuration.
2.Julie Ince (AspireSpace)1:01Modified KitC6-5Quest Flat Cat, with motor mounted in pop-pod
3.Kevin Cave (AspireSpace)0:47Scratch-builtDelta wing configuration, with control surfaces deploying at motor ejection

The other entrants, whose designs kept the crowd highly entertained, were Catherine Proctor (AspireSpace) with her 3 entries, which unfortunately, didn't fly as well as they looked, Bobby Wark (ScotRoc) with his scratch-built swing-wing boost glider, Richard Osborne (AspireSpace) with his large, and rather fearsome G-powered Delta-winged rocket glider and Adrian Hurt with his boost glider.

Bobby Wark's entry (left), Richard Osborne's entry (right)

Lander Competition.

Only 3 people/groups entered this new competition, although the show was stolen by an incredible gyroscopically stabilised, gimballed rocket designed and built by James Macfarlane, Mike Proctor and Dan Brown of AspireSpace. The finless rocket, which is an AspireSpace testbed, took off, briefly hovered stably at about 10 feet altitude by gimballing the rocket motor, before dropping onto the ground. Needless to say, the rocket won, and James Macfarlane was awarded the prize - a piece of firebrick insulation from the flametrench used for Blue Streak Launches from Woomera in Australia.

2 frames showing AspireSpace's finless, gyroscopically stabilised rocket gimballing its motor to remain vertical

Team Aquajet Competition.

The Paisley Rocketeers aquajet team

Details to follow shortly.....

Heli-Roc Competition.

Details to follow shortly......

Other Highlights included:

UK Rocketry Association (UKRA) Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the UK Rocketry Association (UKRA) was held in the Pavilion on the Saturday evening from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Following votes sent by post and votes cast at the Scottish Rocket Weekend, the AGM saw the results of the election of officers for UKRA posts for the coming year. John Bonsor of STAAR Research chaired the meeting for the second year.

Groups and Companies attending the 1997 Rocket Weekend included :

Another, independent report of the 1997 Rocket Weekend, complete with photographs, has been written by Peter Barrett of HART. It is available at the HART World Wide Web Pages.

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