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FAI takes important steps for global drone sports

As the world governing body for all air sports recognised by the International Olympic Committee, FA...

Russian balloonist Fedor Konyukhov awarded FAI - Breitling Pilot of the Year 2016 Award

A Russian priest who circumnavigated the world in a balloon in record time has been presented the in...

FAI Meet NAA and AMA modellers in Muncie, USA

A delegation of FAI officials were in Muncie, Indianapolis, USA over the weekend of 10-12 November...

12 November 1906: The first flight by Santos-Dumont

110 years ago, exactly today, the first officially observed flight in Europe that was longer than 25...

Crete to Cape Town Vintage Air Rally launched from Greece

A flying rally across Africa, from Crete to Cape Town, for aircraft built before the 31st December 1...

FAI joins the International Drone Sports Conference in Korea....

FAI joins the International Drone Sports Conference in Korea....

As part of its announcement for driving global drone sports, FAI is attending the International Drone Sports Conference in Pyeongchang, Korea, together with Korean Federation for Aeromodelling, Kama....

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FAI takes important steps for global drone sports

FAI takes important steps for global drone sports

As the world governing body for all air sports recognised by the International Olympic Committee, FAI is responsible for world drone sports. As part of its work in this area, the Federation has now es....

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Game-changing FAI World Air Games’ global impact  measured....

Game-changing FAI World Air Games’ global impact measured....

The FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 delivered a global impact across over 200 nations in what was the fifth-largest world championships event in terms of athlete participation last year, according to t....

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Europe Air Sports (EAS) & FAI - Response to EASA Prototype R....

Europe Air Sports (EAS) & FAI - Response to EASA Prototype R....

Background Model flying is an activity which is as old as manned aviation itself. Many of the aviation pioneers developed their designs on the basis of tests conducted using models and model aircraft....

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110th FAI General Conference

110th FAI General Conference

The sessions of the 110th FAI General Conference were held at the Westin Nusa Dua Hotel in Bali, Indonesia, on 14 and 15 October 2016.

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Russian balloonist Fedor Konyukhov awarded  FAI - Breitling Pilot of t....

Russian balloonist Fedor Konyukhov awarded FAI - Breitling Pilot of t....

A Russian priest who circumnavigated the world in a balloon in record time has been presented the inaugural FAI - Breitling Pilot of the Year Award at a ceremony in Switzerland yesterday, Thursday 17 ....

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 PILOT PROFILE: 60 seconds with hang gliding champion Christian Ciech

PILOT PROFILE: 60 seconds with hang gliding champion Christian Ciech

Christian Ciech is one of the most successful pilots in competition hang gliding, and was FAI European and World Champion at the same time in 2016. We spoke to him…

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NASA’s top man Charles Bolden is still aiming for the stars

NASA’s top man Charles Bolden is still aiming for the stars

Charles Bolden, who has been awarded the prestigious FAI Gold Space Medal for 2016, knows about space. Not only has he been in orbit four times, but for the last seven years he has been at the head of....

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A life in aerobatics: Mikhail Mamistov

A life in aerobatics: Mikhail Mamistov

From learning to fly in 1983 in the then Soviet Union, Mikhail Mamistov has become one of the most decorated pilots in the history of Aerobatics competition. We meet the legend…

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11 August 1986: The FAI World Record of John Trevor Egginton

11 August 1986: The FAI World Record of John Trevor Egginton

11 August 1986: A modified factory demonstration Westland Lynx AH.1 Helicopter piloted by Chief Test Pilot John Trevor Egginton set an FAI Absolute Record for Speed for helicopters over a straight 15 ....

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Current Events

The Crete2Cape Vintage Air Rally

Event ID

: 10789    

Event classification

: Second Category Event

Type of event

: Other

Disciplines / Task Styles

:

Rally Flying

Place

: Crete (Greece) to Cape Town (South Africa) (-)

Date(s)

: 13 Nov to 17 Dec 2016

Website

:http://www.crete2cape.com


Event Organiser


FAI Member of the Hosting Country

[flickr user=me tag="10789" ]

Open de Canarias de Ala Delta -

Event ID

: 11559    

Event classification

: Second Category Event

Type of event

: Other

Disciplines / Task Styles

:

class 1 Cross country
class 1 - sport class Cross Country

Place

: Lanzarote, Gran Canaria (Spain)

Date(s)

: 04 Dec to 10 Dec 2016

Website

:http://www.airtribune.com/xx-open-de-canarias


Event Organiser


FAI Member of the Hosting Country

[flickr user=me tag="11559" ]

Upcoming Events

07 December 2016 2017 Open Placivel - Placivel (Venezuela)
08 December 2016 16th Open PArapente Santiago - Santiago (Chile)
10 December 2016 2016 Auxerre Galactic Race - Auxerre (France)
11 December 2016 2016 Western Cape Open Porterville (South Africa)
29 December 2016 2016 Otzma Open - Osrael Free Flight Competition - Category F1 - Free Flight Orim (Israel)
30 December 2016 2016 Hanukkah Open - Israel Free Flight Competition - Category F1 - Free Flight Orim (Israel)
30 December 2016 2017 Forbes Flatlands Hang Gliding Championships - Forbes (Australia)
08 January 2017 34th FAI World Gliding Championships - Benalla (Australia)
14 January 2017 2017 Bright Open - Bright (Australia)
14 January 2017 2017 Colombia - 1a Valida - Open - Valle del Cauca (Colombia)
15 January 2017 2017 Monarca Paragliding Open - Valle de Bravo (Mexico)
17 January 2017 _n/a World Cup Superfinal - Valadares (Brazil)
20 January 2017 2017 Paraski World Cup Series - bad Leonfelden (Austria)
22 January 2017 2017 Corryong PG Open - Corryong (Australia)
04 February 2017 2017 Approval pending - Swiss Open Indoor Masters - Widen (Switzerland)
More events

 

Latest FAI World Record Claims

27 November 2016 Parachuting : - : 65 skydivers
25 November 2016 Powered Aeroplanes : Time to climb to a height of 3 000 m : 4 min 22 s Walter Extra (GER)
24 November 2016 Gliding : Speed over a triangular course of 100 km : 140,50 km/h Stefano Ghiorzo (ITA)
21 November 2016 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 1'040.00 km/h Brian D. Erickson (USA)
21 November 2016 Gliding : Speed over a triangular course of 300 km : 119,52 km/h Stefano Ghiorzo (ITA)
20 November 2016 Gliding : Speed over a triangular course of 500 km : 112,52 km/h Stefano Ghiorzo (ITA)
18 November 2016 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 830.00 km/h Erik A. Kauber (USA)
11 November 2016 Parachuting : - : 40 skydivers
06 November 2016 Parachuting : Highest Time : 95,7 sec Chris Geiler (USA)
06 November 2016 Parachuting : Highest Time : 95,7 sec Chris Geiler (USA)
06 November 2016 Parachuting : Highest Time : 93,6 sec Espen Fadnes (NOR)
06 November 2016 Parachuting : Highest Time : 84,7 sec Andrew de Jonge (RSA)
04 November 2016 Parachuting : Highest Time : 78,0 sec Udit Thapar (IND)
04 November 2016 Parachuting : Greatest Speed : 251,7 km/h Udit Thapar (IND)
04 November 2016 Parachuting : Greatest Speed : 302.00 km/h Travis Mickle (USA)
More records

8th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett - Paris (FRA) 1913

Start: Paris, Jardin des Tuileries, October 12th, afternoon         

From the Book: Die Gordon Bennett Ballon Rennen
(The Gordon Bennett Races) by Ulrich Hohmann Sr

The circle closes, the launch of the Gordon Bennett Race returns to its birthplace from 1906. This had been achieved by Maurice Bienaime and Rene Rumpelmeyer with a flight from Stuttgart to the area of Moscow the year before. It was directed by fate, that this return happened exactly in the moment, when an interruption for a longer period stood at the front door. Nobody knew this of course, for times had become calmer. It still rumbled in the Balkans, even if the Osman empire had mostly renounced . their European possessions. But the Balkans were far away, seen from Paris much farther than from Stuttgart. Probably one can see in the fixing of the union of three (Germany, Austria and Italy) during the emperors exercises in Silesia a month ago, the beginning of a confrontation against France, England and Russia, which forced France to introduce the three years duty in military service.

High diplomacy, who did care about it in those days? It was much more than today the case of the leading heads, either monarchs or civil presidents of a republic. Much more a topic for discussion, at least for balloon pilots, was the explosion of the German navy airship L2 over Johannistal near Berlin, killing 24 people. Also new ways to travel in the air came up, and nobody really knew, how they would perform. But everything else, besides the normal catastrophes of nature, mine explosions, train accidents and ships sinking is quite normal.

The people among themselves understood each other, the sportsmen were friends. Of course, they fought for victory in a race, but before and after they shared experiences, discussed and helped each other. If someone would have told to a Bienaime or a Leblanc, that they have to hate an Eimermacher, Kaulen or Berliner or the other way round, because they were "iron foes", they would have refused without understanding.

Flying balloons was very attractive to the French people, more than half a million spectators were counted at the launch. They hoped for another French victory, but in vain. 18 pilots had come to Paris and everybody knew that they were "the best of the world". Honeywell, third the year before, was there, and also Bienaime and Rumpelmeyer, last years winners, flew separate this time. As "2nd man in the basket" a woman flew for the first time in a Gordon Bennett Race, Madame Gustave Goldschmidt. Emancipation was always a matter of course in ballooning. With Rene Rumpelmayer as pilot she had flown from Paris to the area of Charkov (Ukraine) on March 19th to 21st this year, putting the world distance record up to 2420 km. One had heard from Hugo Kaulen and Hans Berliner from Germany (and should soon hear much more), Armbruster, de Beauclair from Switzerland and young Belgian Demuyter were hot favourites for the victory. Only one would not be considered to be on one of the higher rankings: 25 year old Ralph H. Upson from the USA. Reason for this was among others, that he had become a pilot just one year before and, at least in the opinion of the other competitors and the journalists, could not have gathered enough experience and technical knowledge. Of course, he was a student of meteorology, or, as it was called in these days "the streaming of the air", but one still did not think very well about this science. Also his balloon was not in the best condition. A well know balloon manufacturer pointed some broken meshed in his net to him, Upson asked back: "Do you think, that the hole is big enough that the envelope could escape through it?"

There had also been a change in the selection of the pilots. Looking at the competitors lists of the first races shows, that a lot of officers, noblemen and industrialists took part in these flights. Ballooning was reserved to these circles of society in many countries. But now, thanks to Gordon Bennett, one could not only face adventures on these flights, but also gather fame for oneself and his home country. So it is quite understandable, that the national aero clubs took more influence in the selection of the competitors. They had to prove the adequate staying power and enough experience, the rest then came on its own.

Experience was quite different. Frank Lahm (1906) won in his 15th flight in a balloon, Edgar W. Mix (1909) had finished his instructions to become a balloon pilot just two years ago, so there was not too much experience. It looked quite better with Erbslöh, Theodor Schaeck, Alan R. Hawley and Hans Gericke. But all of them may not have cared much about tactical conditions and long preparations.

The more these races became known, the more fame came to the competitors and their countries and the more importance was put on selection of the balloon and the persons. One of the first, who added considering the influence of meteorological conditions to his planning, was Ernest Demuyter. The race in 1913 had contributed a lot to this, as he explains in his report:

Translation from Demuyter here

Meteorology in those days was in its childhood. Of course, the pilots got handed out the information from all meteorological stations round the world, and often the forecast for beginning rain, snowfall or storm was true. But there were no weather maps as we know today from the television every evening. There was also no weather briefing before launch. Everybody got his own information. What he then concluded and how he put it to practice was his own affair.

So they tried to save ballast, looked for a fast and adequate layer, put the track to a map and prolonged it, concluded then to fly a little higher or lower to catch some more kilometres over land before the sea put and end to the flight. One only risked to fly out to the sea, when the direction and power of the wind, seen by the heading till then, could guarantee a relatively safe arrival at the opposite coast. It was still well remembered what happened in 1908.

The morning after launch found the field close together about 200 kilometres south of Paris. Then the wind turned to the northwest, towards the Atlantic ocean. Now, according to the old way, one had to try to fly to the longest bulge of the land. That means, flying low, to the left, this was the direction for the Bretagne. Catching this peninsula of France allows to fly up to the town of Brest. American Honeywell managed this best, his most southerly heading brought him almost 500 km as the crow flys.

Italian Pastine tried it just the other way round and was also not without success. His most northerly heading brought him to Normandy almost up to the town of Cherbourg, at least also 450 kilometres far. All the others flew in between and therefore had to come back to earth at the bay of St. Malo. That would have been it, if not Mister Upson was absolutely confident in his science.

Today every balloon pilot knows (or should know it), that the wind turns right in a high pressure area and counter clockwise in a low. Today we know the gradient winds, floating almost parallel to the isobars. Mister Upson also knew this in his days. In the beginning, he did not care at all, flying more north or south, then, to the horror of the others, he crossed the coast, heading for his sure death, if he would not find a ship, fishing him out of the waves of the ocean.

He did not need the ship. He fell, caused by the cooling air above the water (and its influence on the temperature of the gas) from his former altitude, but got the balloon under control, overthrew, climbed much higher than before and headed now exactly north, towards the English coast between Exeter and Portsmouth. From there it went on in a wide bend, crossing the Bristol Channel, passing north of Birmingham, until the North Sea north of the little town Bampton, Devon, forced him to land after 43 1/2 hours of flight.

We had seen this before! 1906 American Frank P. Lahm made his victory not far from this place, but much more directly, not with this long detour over Southwest England. Upson told after his victory, that he had made a mistake in his calculations: He had not calculated the cooling above the water, without the fall he would have flown in a bend much more narrow above the Netherlands to Northwest Germany. But nobody believes this, especially with today's knowledge of his science. Such small circles are rarely permitted by a high over Scandinavia and a low west of England. And would this have been farther? – He got his victory with 618 kilometres, a victory of science over technical skill in a balloon, a victory of sober calculations over experience.

The end of the race caused another effect. Both Germans Hugo Kaulen and Hans Berliner had hoped for more success. They ended in the disappointing ranks 16 and 18. But hey did not rest, they knew about their skill and wanted to prove it to the world. Little later, they had the opportunity for it. On December 13th Hugo Kaulen went on a flight, bringing him the world record for duration with 87 hours. Hans Berliner waited another 2 month longer. On February 8th 1914 he flew east from Bitterfeld for 47 hours covering 3053 kilometres and landing at Perm in the Ural. That was the new world record in distance, first beaten on August 17th, 1978 with the first crossing of the Atlantic ocean. The history of this two flights is worth an extra book.

Later, after the war, Upson flew in two more Races, but could not repeat his success. The break of six years, following the 1913 race, also forced progress in meteorology for all, otherwise a war with poison gas would not have been possible. A lot of people would have loved to wait longer for these quick results.

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2016 FAI Young Artists Contest

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This year's theme is "Air Sports in Harmony with Nature". Give free rein to your imagination – you might earn one of the Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals!

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Browse the list of the FAI Awards recipients.

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