NZRA Altitude Records

New Zealand Altitude Records


The NZRA maintains a list of records in a number of different categories.  The intent of these records is to encourage (friendly!) competition amongst our members, as well as promote innovation and development to advance the sport of amateur rocketry in New Zealand and worldwide.    

There are two main categories of records, each of which are divided into classes according to the total impulse of the motor(s) used.    

Single Stage - Altitude

"A" Class

Holder: Tom, Antoni & Emilia Mackenzie

Date: 14 June 2020

Motor: A8-3

Altitude: 915 ft.  

"B" Class

Holder: Tom, Antoni & Emilia Mackenzie

Date: 6th February 2021

Motor: B6-6

Altitude: 884 ft.  

"C" Class

Holder: Oliver Bergquist

Date: 19th December 2021

Motor: C12-6

Altitude: 894 ft.  

Ollie's record attempt made a had a nice straight boost to 894 ft, despite a stiff breeze.  Chute deployment was spot on and it made a gentle landing just behind quarry hill, breaking the previous record which has stood since 2012!

Ollie used motor ejection with a Jolly Logic Altimeter 2 for logging.  

Previous Holder: Jack Davies, 8/7/12, C6-5, 846 ft.  

"D" Class

Holder: Jack Davies

Date: 1st December 2013

Motor: D24-T

Altitude: 2119 ft.  

"E" Class

Holder: Jack Davies

Date: 31st May 2014

Motor: E12

Altitude: 2608 ft.

"F" Class

Holder: Jack Davies

Date: 9th March 2014

Motor: F24W

Altitude: 3307 ft.  

"G" Class

Holder: Ian Parker & Dave Stephens

Date: 7th May 2022

Motor: AeroTech G80T

Altitude: 5715 ft.  

After being thwarted by weather at several previous launches, Ian and Dave finally got their chance to nab the G-class record.  Their "Mach 1 VII '' rocket made a nice clean boost out of their custom built launch tower to 5715ft.  Motor ejection successfully deployed the main chute at apogee, and the rocket made a safe descent, allowing them to beat the previous record by nearly 500ft.  

Previous Holder: Olliver Bonner & Alex Heffer, 3/12/17, 5225ft

"H" Class

Holder: Jim Hefkey

Date: 6th May 2012

Motor: H268R

Altitude: 8240 ft. 

"I" Class

Holder: Kerry Chadderton

Date: 4th May 2024

Motor: VTP I391SN

Altitude: 10,193 ft

Kerry's "Shooting Star" rocket made a nice clean boost into clear blue skies, with nominal deployment at apogee.  It descended drogueless until low altitude where an 18" main parachute was deployed.  Kerry was able to locate it to the Southwest of the launch site thanks to telemetry from the onboard TeleMega.    

This was Kerry's second attempt at the record, with the first coming in 2022.  This time, he was able to snaffle it from Kelvin, who set it in 2022.  Prior to that, the record had stood for well over a decade.  

Rumour has it there are several other parties targeting this record, so watch this space.  

Previous Holder:  Kelvin McVinnie, 9/1/22, 8985ft 

"J" Class

Holder: Joel Schiff

Date: 3rd May 2014

Motor: J510

Altitude: 18,373 ft.

Joel and Martin's J record airframe "Blackbird" was built from scratch, specifically to take the "J" Class record.  

"K" Class

Holder: Joel Schiff & Martin Aspell

Date: 7th April 2013

Motor: K480 

Altitude: 20,127 ft.  

Joel and Martin's K record flight utilized the long burn Aerotech  K480 in their modified 3 Dogs Rocketry Kestrel Kit.  Flying from their aluminium launch tower into clear blue skies, the rocket used single deployment for recovery and was recovered 7km down range.  

Flight Video 

"L" Class

Holder: Kim McVinnie

Date: 9th February 2020

Motor: VTP L546 

Altitude: 15,307 ft

Kim McVinnie's Middle Earth flew on a long burn VTP L546 to it's record setting altitude during the NZRA's "Havoc in the Paddock" International rocketry event in February 2020.  The heavily modified Wedgetail 4 kit is a 75mm minimum diameter airframe that Kim originally used to get her L1, 2 and 3, and has gone on to make several L & M flights, as well as numerous flights on J & K class motors.  

"M" Class

Holder: Kim McVinnie

Date: 4th May 2024

Motor: VTP M977SN

Altitude: 21,715 ft

Kim McVinnie's "Smaug" flew on a long burn VTP M977SN to it's record setting altitude of over 21,000ft .  Weighing in at 17.2kg fully loaded, Smaug is a minimum diameter design built from scratch by her from fiberglass and carbon fiber.   Dual Telemegas were used for deployment and tracking, with a 3ft drogue deployed at apogee, followed by an 8 foot toroidal main.  

This was Kim's 3rd attempt at setting the vacant M class record, after the previous two were thwarted by recovery issues.  

"N" Class

Holder: Martin Aspell & Joel Schiff

Date: 20th February 2011

Motor: Aerotech N1000W

Altitude: 33,701 ft.  

Joel and Martin used a Performance Rocketry Mongoose 98 kit as the basis for their record flight.   

100mm in diameter and 2.6m long, it flew on the long burn Aerotech N1000W to Mach 1,6.  The onboard GSM tracker stopped working during descent and the rocket was misplaced for two days, before being discovered by a farmer 4km down range.  

Flight Video 

Staged & Clustered - Altitude

"E" Class

Holder:  Dean & Grayson Spittle

Date: 10th January 2021

Motor:  3  x Quest D18-6

Altitude:  988 ft.  

Dean and Grayson's "Fuster Cluck" is Mach 1 Rocketry Trivecta 318 kit.  40mm in diameter, 687mm long, it set the vacant E class record using the new composite Q-jet motors.  

"I" Class

Holder: Jack Davies

Date: 3rd May 2014

Motor: I200W, G64W

Altitude: 1,884 ft.  

"N" Class

Holder: Craig Packard 

Date: 20th February 2011

Motor: Aerotech  M1939W,  air starting 2 x J800T, 2 x K700W

Altitude: 10,409 ft.  

Craig Packard's "Big Red" made it's maiden flight at the NZRA's National Launch day 2011, setting a new clustered "N" class record in the process.  8" diameter, 12 feet long. and fully scratch built by Craig with a 98mm central motor mount and 4 54mm outboards.  The Central M1939 was lit on the ground, with the J800 's airstarted moments into the flight.  The K700's were lit after a short coast from the M burnout.  

Flight Video 

"O" Class

Holder: Craig Packard 

Date: 5th February 2012

Motor:  AeroTech N2000W,  air starting 4 x K700W

Altitude: 12,986 ft.  

Not satisfied with the "N" record, Craig Packard's "Big Red" went on to set the "O"  record at National Launch day 2012.   This time, Craig went with a central N2000 and 4 K700 outboards air started in sets of two.  

Flight Video 

The process for NZRA Members to claim a new record are published on the members only website here.