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Rocket-powered pupils break their own world record

Students at The Heathland School, in Hounslow, break record for the fastest model rocket car after reaching a whopping 288mph

Samvir Thandi with his world record-breaking model rocket car

Whiz kids in Hounlow have smashed their own world record just nine months after setting it.

Young engineers at The Heathland School, in Wellington Road South, Hounslow, last Friday (March 14) set a new mark of 287.59mph for the fastest 'ultimate' model rocket car.

That's a whopping 84mph faster than the 204mph they achieved in June last year , meaning they have now exceeded the previous record by 200mph. That is only the average speed over two runs, with the car peaking at a rate of 344mph.

A total of 50 students from the secondary school travelled to the Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire with six model cars they have spent months working on.

Although four of the vehicles exploded before finishing the second of their two required runs, another car - remarkably designed by a year seven pupil - set a new record of 146mph in the 'single rocket' category.

The 'ultimate' record was set by 18-year-old Samvir Thandi, whose car was named SST-3B-Falcon, after his own initials, the initials of the three teachers who helped him and The Falcon Project, run by Daniel Jubb, which provided the rockets.

His father Jaswant Thandi is the events and model rocket category coordinator for Bloodhound SSC, the British team attempting to break the land speed record.

Mr Thandi is working with staff and students at 30 schools as they prepare for a crack at the model rocket speed record, meaning he may end up helping another pupil break his own son's mark.

"I'm very proud of Samvir. It's not often a father can watch his son set a world record," said the 45-year-old father-of-two, who lives in Heath Road, Hounslow.

"Before I joined the Bloodhound team he wasn't interested in engineering but the record attempt has spurred him on and he's now hoping to study aerospace engineering at Imperial College. Hopefully the project will help inspire many more young engineers."

He added that the Bloodhound team was on course to complete its car late this year, ready for a first tilt at the world record in South Africa in August 2015.

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Salina Patel
Hounslow
Katherine Clementine
Uxbridge
David Rivers
Ealing
Goolistan Cooper
Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster
Nathan Spendelow
Harrow and Brent
Robert Cumber
Hounslow
Emily Chudy
What's On Reporter
Matt Lewis
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Tom Moore
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Tim Street
Deputy Sports Editor
Paul Warburton
Sports Reporter