Tuesday, June 6 2017 12:11 EEST
Ukrainian Team Dominates America Rivals in Glider Competition

On May 13, 2017 Ukrainian students from the Noosphere Engineering School steal the show in the Balsa Flyer competition at the Team America Rocketry Challenge 2017 (TARC) in Washington, DC.

As the world’s largest student rocketry contest, TARC is only officially available to American teams, but one team from Ukraine was invited to participate as honorary guest. The student team from Noosphere Engineering School made it to TARC 2017 in Washington, DC. thanks to the support of Spacemodelling Sport Federation of Ukraine (FRMS) and Max Polyakov, Honorary President of FRMS. They competed alongside 812 teams from across America, building, launching and chasing down rockets.

One competition required participants to build a glider from balsa wood and fly it as far as they could. The Ukrainian team built a glider in 30 minutes that flew over 25% farther than any other team. As guests to the competition, they were not allowed to be officially granted the first place, but judges made sure to mention their heroic flight during the award ceremony.

The bulk of the competition was dedicated to launching rockets which, this year, carried a fragile payload of raw eggs to be return unbroken to the earth in a given time frame. The rules and goals of the competition change from year to year to ensure that the contestants stay innovative and to keep the event fresh.

TARC plays a major role in US aerospace and defense industry policy. It is designed to build interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among teenagers. With support from the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR), TARC has grown from a single event in 2002 into a competition for thousands of eager students around the United states every year.

The Noosphere Engineering School, founded by Max Polyakov, sent their best and brightest with support from Noosphere. During the FAI World Championships for Space Models held in Lviv in 2016, American teams were impressed with the ingenuity and drive of their Ukrainian peers and petitioned TARC organizers to reciprocate the hospitality that they were shown in Ukraine. Organizers were moved by their request, making an exception for these exceptional rocketeers.

The Ukrainian team included Valerii Bidovskyi, Bohdan Kovalov, Oleksandr Radchenko, Vladyslav Zhuravlov and their coach, Denys Khmil. They plan on using the experience and connections from the event to help improve future technology projects and competitions similar to TARC in Ukraine.

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