[uk] Brohp 2007

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Mike 8-{>

Well-Known Member
Dec 11, 2004
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Some of you may have seen the posts a while back here about the British Rocketry Oral History Programme (BROHP ) conference at Charterhouse school near Guildford in Surrey.

I've just got home and wanted to say a few words about the 2007 event.

It was awesome! ;0) Three days of fascinating lectures, rocketry and superb company. This was my third visit to BROHP and it just gets better and better. Where else could you rub shoulders with the likes of:-

Reg Turnhill, former BBC space correspondent

Alan Bond

Eric "Winkle" Brown

George Abbey former Director of the Johnson Space Centre

and many other amazing people.

The lectures were varied and very interesting. The UKRA lecture parallel on Saturday included some very informative lectures by the likes of Jim Macfarlane (2 sessions: Gyroc and onboard video rocketry), Richard Osborne (Hybrids), Phil Charlesworth (UKAYRoC from the organisers point of view), Rod Stephenson (UKAYRoC from the participants point of view), Alan Bond (on his early rocketry experiments in the 1960's), Carol Vaughn (taking Guides to the space Olympics) and lastly Jon London with his breathtaking ;0) hybrid powered Sinclair C5!

Thursday covered such diverse topics as ion propulsion, human space flight, the British thermonuclear weapons programme, lunar and planetary missions. Friday included spaceplanes, more nuclear weapons talks, astronomy, British liquid propellant rocket engines, Eric Brown talking about the Spitfire, The Schneider trophy, the English Electric Lightning and many many more.

Friday also saw the first ever final of the UKAYRoC competition (https://www.ukayroc.org.uk/). This is the UK version of the US TARC (Team America Rocket Challenge) competition. Set up with the blessing and assistance of NAR. This was on a much smaller scale than TARC this year but from little acorns.....

Phil Charlesworth and Andy Willis (Space Connections) deserve a huge pat on the back for organising the whole event and Phil especially for getting the whole thing going in the first place. The event was brilliant with 8 teams, from an initial entry of 19, making it through to the final. Their mission was the same as this years TARC competition and was to lob an egg to an altitude of 850ft, with a flight duration of 45 seconds and a safe undamaged recovery of the egg. The competition was fierce with a great bunch of kids of all ages all doing their very best to win. The finalists were:-

Royal Liberty Secondary School - Essex, East of England
Costessey High School - Norwich
John Leggott Sixth Form College - Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire
Crofton School - Portsmouth, Hants
Longley Park Sixth Form College - Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Dinnington Comprehensive School Team 1 - Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Buttershaw Enterprise College - Bradford, West Yorkshire
Beckfoot School - Bradford, West Yorkshire

The winners were:-
1 Buttershaw Enterprise College
2 Crofton School
3 Royal Liberty Secondary School

I am not sure I have the exact figures but I believe Buttershaw's flight stats were: 872feet and around 47 or 48 seconds with the egg recovered intact. The winning team have won 1000 quid for their school and a trip to the US TARC finals, in May, for the whole team where they will do a demonstration flight of their winning rocket.

Special mention has to go to the second place team from Crofton School in Portsmouth who were one of the youngest groups in the competition.

The whole event created a tremendous amount of interest not only with the families and friends of the competitors but with:

BBC TV's Newsround children's news programme doing a slot on the event,
BBC Radio 4's Woman's hour reporting on the event
Local kids who turned up in numbers when they heard about the event
and, most impressively, with all the very generous Sponsors. This was to the point where a significant number of the sponsors and space industry representatives wanted a parallel competition for them to compete in next year!

I would like to add my personal thanks to all the other UKRA folks and family members who turned out on the day to make the event run so smoothly. There are too many of you to name you all here but you know who you are!!!! Top job folks!

Last of all I cannot finish without mentioning The Rocketmen. The guys who built and flew the *insert many superlatives of choice* Top Gear Reliant Robin Space Shuttle were at the event and did a special late talk after the evening meal on Friday in the halls where we were staying. Once we got over some minor technical hitches Damian and Colin gave a very entertaining talk to the assembled throng which included George Abbey, who had been responsible for all the Space Shuttle flight crews. George spent ages chatting to the guys about the whole project and asked for copies of the dvd of the show and pictures to show to the shuttle guys back home. He was so impressed by the Rocketmen's achievement in launching, all be it not entirely successfully ;0), the Reliant Robin that it was decided by the event organisers there and then that a new award would be created. The George Abbey award was to be in recognition of what these guys have excelled at, and Richard Hammond so aptly and succinctly summed up on Top Gear as, " the cutting edge of cocking about". The George Abbey Award for space related activities that made people laugh was awarded, by George, to the team at the following evenings prestigeous Arthur C Clarke Awards Dinner. The assembled audience of representatives of major international and UK space companies, space scientists, rocket scientists and engineers gave the presentation of the award a tremendous reception. After the presentations were complete, which included the lifetime achievement award being given to Eric "Winkle" Brown, there was a steady stream of eminent members of the space science, engineering and rocketry community, including the likes of Professor Colin Pillinger, personally congratulating the guys on the Robin launch and saying how much they had enjoyed the show.

All in all it is a wonderful event and I would recommend anyone who can make it to attend next year.

Cheers Mike 8-{>

UKRA #1208 L2 RSO EARS # 1118
TRA #3207 L1
-=*=- Gravity is a harsh Mistress -=*=-
-=*=- The Tick -=*=-
Thanks for your kind words about UKAYROC. It was very satisfying to see all those young people having fun with science, and I'd like to thank all the UKRA members who lent a hand to make it run so smoothly.

There were also two "spot" prizes awarded by the judges to schools that produced the best static display, and these awards went to John Legget School and Beckfoot School. John Legget's presentation showed a good engineering approach to addressing the challenge. Beckfoot were the youngest team in the competition and their presentation showed a maturity that belied their youth.

I thoroughly endorse your comments about BROHP. It's a unique residential conference with an atmosphere unlike any other. Roll on BROHP 2008!