Rocket powered car races!

Rocket powered car races!

Over in Sydney, Australia, the fine folks at Robots and Dinosaurs entered the annual Rocket Car Day. The event looks hilarious- participants build small vehicles to enter into the competition, which are then fitted with model rocket engines and pitted against each other in a race! It’s sort of a space-age answer to Pinewood derby. Awesome!

16 thoughts on “Rocket powered car races!

  1. Wilson! says:

    And Americans could never pull it off. As a former Cub Scout leader, all I could see in the pics was all the inherent safety hazards. It’s so ingrained, I almost didn’t see the fun!

    1. Jesse says:

      In my High School career(Colorado, USA) we did both CO2 powered racers and model rocket engine powered racers. They were kept on track by string run through eye screws on the cars.

    2. RocketGuy says:

      It’s somewhat ironic that the public notion of “safety” has become, itself, a threat to national security.

      By infantilizing the population with an obsession on mythical perfect safety, we rob America of it’s ability to compete in the world on any front.

      Yeah, they could use guidewires. Somebody’s foot got burned, maybe more than one, but look at how they handled it. Annoying, but no big deal. I bet no lawyers were called.

      I’m really not sure our way is better, despite the minor injuries inflicted on the crowd. Seems to me their character is amply strong to deal with it, is ours?

  2. Gilberti says:

    Definitely an event where closed-toe shoes is a must.

    To keep the cars on track, they could use two bricks, 75 feet of fishing line, and a straw. Glue the straw to the bottom of each car, and just before launch, thread the fishing line through the straw and tie each end to a brick, one at the start of the course, and the other at the end. That should also help keep some of the more unstable models from going airborne as well.

  3. volkemon says:

    The video is worth watching! Cars fly in all directions, into the crowd… and laughter is common. What fun.

    Some of the cars do pretty well considering no guide wire was used.

    Thanks Matt.

  4. says:

    Have a look at a Swedish kicksled with a “rocketenginge” with superheated water (400 C) which reaches speeds at over 100 km/h! (in Swedish).

  5. xx75vulcan says:


    I used to do this with my pinewood derby cars after the races were over. We’d take them home, my friends and I, and drill out the back end of them, and push in a model rocket engine.

    The smaller the engine, the straighter the car went. The larger the engine, the more likely it was to “take off” the ground and fly around in loops.

    Of course, we all used the larges engines we could find.


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