A team from the University of Cape Town’s Industrial Computational Fluid Dynamics Research Group has broken the Class A water rocket world altitude record by 33%, achieving a height of 830m.
The record was broken using a 2.68m-tall rocket weighing less than 1.5kg – which included a flight computer, on-board camera, and parachute.
The rocket produced 550kg of thrust – enough to lift a small car off the ground – and blasted off to 550km/h in under 0.5 seconds.
In addition to computer-based modelling, the team made extensive use of carbon fibre materials in the rocket’s construction.
The record was formally ratified on 7 October 2015, after international peer review by the Water Rocket Achievement World Record Association.