Launch The Lightning

Welcome to the Launch the Lightning Competition page.

Here you will find all the information related to the challenge that you have been set, some frequently asked questions, an area for you to submit your own question and finally a form to submit your competition entry.

Challenge Details

Competition Rules

Aircraft – Part 1

Build an aircraft capable of the following:

  • Must fly as straight as possible for as far as possible when thrown
  • Must fly when launched with your system
  • Must NOT be a commercially purchased kit

Launcher – Part 2

Build a launcher platform capable of the following:

  • Hold the aircraft ready for launch
  • Launch the aircraft into the air allowing it to fly at least 2 metres
  • Must use materials available around your home

Trigger – Part 3

Build a trigger mechanism capable of the following:

  • Must be triggered by a human at least 2 metres from the launch point of the aircraft
  • Must use household materials to trigger a chain reaction which fires the aircraft into the air from the launch platform.

Video – Part 4

Upload a single 60-90 second video which contains the following:

  • How you built your aircraft
  • Test flight of the aircraft (not on the launcher)
  • How the launch system was built and should operate
  • Full functional test of the trigger mechanism, launcher and flight.

Video should be uploaded to your competition server or submitted to this site as per your organisations rules


Frequently Asked Questions

Submit your own question

Can we use toys with a launcher in built as part of our design?

Toys such as Nerf or Hot-wheels that have the ability to launch an object are not considered in the spirit of the challenge when used as part of the launcher. If you wish to use than as part of the trigger i.e. as part of a chain reaction, then this is permitted.

Why does the aircraft only have to fly 2m?

In the interests of fairness we have imposed this limit as not everyone will have the space to fly it further if completing it at home. If your aircraft can fly further then that is great, however please consider that the challenge is judged on all elements, not just how far the aircraft is flown.

Is there a height limit on the launcher?

While we don’t specify a height limit on the launcher, we ask that it is placed on the floor. Having it mounted to a table would give an advantage over the distance element.