The 2016 FAI World Championships for Space Models in Lviv (UKR) were a full success!

Jan sebesta_croppedThe 2016 FAI World Championships for Space Models in Lviv, Ukraine, concluded on Sunday with Jan Sebesta from the Czech Republic winning the scale (S7) model competition. Sebesta’s model of the Saturn V not only impressed the judges with its lifelike accuracy, but during the confirmation flight it performed flawlessly, separating into five parts on cue, and returning to the ground with streamers and parachutes slowing its descent.

The crowd enjoyed the spectacle too, cheering loudly as the final stage of the rocket deployed its parachute at the top of its flight path.

Winner Sebesta said he had spent 250-300 hours working on the model. “I was nervous when I was presenting the model to the judges," he said, "but when I was preparing it for the flight I was focused on what I had to do. I feel very good, because it means my work has been a success.”

The S7 contest was the last of eight classes of competition held at the biennial FAI World Championships for Space Models, which was attended by teams from 19 countries, and saw the launch of around 500 space models each day over the four day competition.

Competitors used different designs to achieve the greatest height, with some using multiple stage rockets that separated in the air. In some of the competition classes the aim is to have the longest flight time possible, requiring a high altitude to be reached under power, as well as a slow descent under parachute, streamer, gyropcopter blades, or by gliding back to earth under radio control.

The highest altitude achieved during the competition was by Robert Kreutz, from the USA. His S1B rocket reached 753m in the altitude competition, as measured by its onboard altimiter and verified by the competition judges. Rockets in the S1B class can reach verticle velocities of 200km/h, and weigh as little as five grams.

Sixty-eight under 18s from around the world also competed in the junior competition this year. John Jacomb of the British team, who teaches rocketry and modelling to school children, said it was important that so many youngsters were involved. “They learn lots of skills, but above all they meet people of their own age from different countries with the same interests, and see that fundamentally we are all the same.”

The full results from all eight classes, in the senior and junior competition can be seen here.

Find more pictures here.

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Photo credit: FAI / Andy Pag