Hello and welcome to the Boscombe Down Balloon Challenge!
Starting today, the Boscombe Down branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society is proud to announce the launch of our inaugural Balloon Challenge to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Society. Back in 1866, when the Society was founded, the only reasonable way for the earliest aeronautical pioneers to take to the skies was via the humble balloon and we at the Boscombe Down branch would like to pay homage to these early steps into the skies.
Now what is a Balloon Challenge, I hear you asking? Well, put simply, we are looking to challenge local schools with our future engineers and scientists to build the balloon that will go highest, farthest and stay in the air the longest. With help from specialist companies in the aerospace industry, each school that enters will have a unique opportunity to learn about how mankind first took to the skies and see how the technology of manned ballooning has advanced since 1783 when the Montgolfier brother's balloon took the skies for the first time. Each entry will be judged on the three categories outlined before; highest, farthest and longest flight, with the best school in each category winning a Grand Prize. Really, a Grand prize, as we'll will be giving each category winner £1000. This is a fantastic STEM project and a rare chance that we are excited to offer to our future engineers and scientists.
Who is helping us achieve this? Cameron Balloons, world leaders in ballooning technology, will be providing technical support to the whole event by providing information on the technology and science behind high-altitude ballooning. With experience of world record attempts, this will be a great chance to learn from some of the best in the business. Another event partner is QinetiQ, based at Boscombe Down, who will be providing engineering and project support to all entrants and have kindly contributed to our burgeoning prize fund.
We will be reaching out to local schools in and around the Wiltshire area in the coming months and we look forward to seeing as many entrants as possible.
Thanks for reading!