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Red Bull Air Race 2017: Final tour stops announced

The two final dates in the Red Bull Air Race 2017 calendar have been announced. Porto in Portugal an...

Interview with Frits Brink, President of the FAI

Dutchman Frits Brink, 70, was elected the new President of the FAI, World Air Sports Federation, in ...

Hat-trick: World's best indoor radio-controlled aerobatic pilot wins FAI World Championships for a record third time

Gernot Bruckmann (left), a professional radio-controlled aeromodel pilot from Austria, won gold at t...

Five years ago on this day: A Microlight World Record still standing

Today, five years ago on 17 February 2012, Indian pilot Parmjit Singh, used a special harness, the A...

Women with wings: Meet Drone Pilot GaYeon Mo

Meet 17-year-old Korean drone pilot GaYeon Mo, whose years of Taekwondo and Wushu training showed he...

New Asian air sports federation announced

New Asian air sports federation announced

The positive development of air sports in Asia took a big step forward yesterday, following a meeting of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), FAI and two Asian continental air sports organisations in Du....

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Interview with Frits Brink, President of the FAI

Interview with Frits Brink, President of the FAI

Dutchman Frits Brink, 70, was elected the new President of the FAI, World Air Sports Federation, in October 2016.

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FAI to launch international Air Games Tour in 2018

FAI to launch international Air Games Tour in 2018

The FAI is planning to launch an international multi-discipline Air Games Tour which could start in the 2nd half of 2018. Touching down in up to five host cities around the world each year, each event....

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FAI names Noosphere Ventures as its new Global Technical Par....

FAI names Noosphere Ventures as its new Global Technical Par....

The FAI is delighted to announce a new strategic partnership with US asset management firm Noosphere Ventures.

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FAI President attends royal New Year’s reception in the Ne....

FAI President attends royal New Year’s reception in the Ne....

FAI President Frits Brink took part in a royal New Year’s reception in the Netherlands on 17 January 2017.

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Five years ago on this day: A Microlight and Paramotor World Record st....

Five years ago on this day: A Microlight and Paramotor World Record st....

Today, five years ago on 17 February 2012, Indian pilot Parmjit Singh, used a special harness, the Aeros Discus 14 with a Radne Motor AB Raket 120, to fly a record distance in a straight line without....

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Two years ago: Father and son set African Record

Two years ago: Father and son set African Record

Two years ago on this day, Tijl Schmelzer and his father Bert were the very first to pass the 200 km/h barrier using thermals rather than mountain waves.

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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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Current Events

Australian National Championships -

Event ID

: 11569    

Bid:

245

Event classification

: Second Category Event

Type of event

: Other

Disciplines / Task Styles

:

4-Way Event
8-Way Event
VFS 4-Way event
Freeflying
Freestyle Skydiving
Accuracy Landing

2-Way Sequential
4-Way Sequential
4-Way Rotation
Canopy Piloting
Acrobatic Flying
4-Way Event

Place

: York (Australia)

Date(s)

: 21 Mar to 25 Mar 2017

Website

:http://www.apf.asn.au/WPC/australian-comps


Event Organiser


FAI Member of the Hosting Country

[flickr user=me tag="11569" ]

Open Internacional Ciudad de Sevilla -

Event ID

: 11665    

Bid:

669

Event classification

: Open International - World Cup Event

Type of event

: Other

Disciplines / Task Styles

:

F3U (RC Multi-Rotor FPV Racing)

Place

: Seville (Spain)

Date(s)

: 24 Mar to 26 Mar 2017

Alternate dates

: 31 Mar to 02 Apr 2017


Event Organiser


FAI Member of the Hosting Country

[flickr user=me tag="11665" ]

Aeros Winter Race -

Event ID

: 11917    

Bid:

301

Event classification

: Second Category Event

Type of event

: Other

Disciplines / Task Styles

:

class 1 Cross country

Place

: Ajdovscina (Slovenia)

Date(s)

: 22 Mar to 26 Mar 2017

Alternate dates

: 29 Mar to 02 Apr 2017

Website

:http://awr.aeros.com.ua


Event Organiser


FAI Member of the Hosting Country

[flickr user=me tag="11917" ]

Aeros Winter Race -

Event ID

: 11918    

Bid:

301

Event classification

: Second Category Event

Type of event

: Other

Disciplines / Task Styles

:

class 1 Cross country

Place

: Ajdovscina (Slovenia)

Date(s)

: 22 Mar to 26 Mar 2017

Alternate dates

: 29 Mar to 02 Apr 2017

Website

:http://awr.aeros.com.ua


Event Organiser


FAI Member of the Hosting Country

[flickr user=me tag="11918" ]

Trofeo Citta di Torino -

Event ID

: 11953    

Bid:

277

Event classification

: Second Category Event

Type of event

: Other

Disciplines / Task Styles

:

handicapped

Place

: Torino (Italy)

Date(s)

: 24 Mar to 03 Apr 2017

Website

:http://www.torinoglider.com


Event Organiser


FAI Member of the Hosting Country

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Dannstadter Vergleichsfliegen -

Event ID

: 11956    

Bid:

266

Event classification

: Second Category Event

Type of event

: Other

Disciplines / Task Styles

:

Club Class
Open Class

Place

: Ludwigshafen - Dannstadt (Germany)

Date(s)

: 25 May to 05 Jun 2017

Website

:http://www.vergleichsfliegen.de


Event Organiser


FAI Member of the Hosting Country

[flickr user=me tag="11956" ]

Campeonato Argentino de Parapente Famatina -

Event ID

: 12024    

Bid:

243

Event classification

: Second Category Event

Type of event

: Other

Disciplines / Task Styles

:

Cross Country

Place

: Famatina (Argentina)

Date(s)

: 24 Mar to 30 Mar 2017


Event Organiser


FAI Member of the Hosting Country

[flickr user=me tag="12024" ]

Gjiro Open Air -

Event ID

: 12025    

Bid:

701

Event classification

: Second Category Event

Type of event

: Other

Disciplines / Task Styles

:

Cross Country

Place

: Gjirokastra (Albania)

Date(s)

: 23 Mar to 26 Mar 2017

Alternate dates

: 06 Apr to 09 Apr 2017

Website

:http://www.albanianairsports.com


Event Organiser


FAI Member of the Hosting Country

[flickr user=me tag="12025" ]

Upcoming Events

25 March 2017 2017 Open Kazakhstan Accuracy Cup Stage I - Almaty (Kazakhstan)
25 March 2017 2017 Paragliding Winter cup Buzet - Buzet, Istra Peninsula (Croatia)
26 March 2017 2017 Campeonato Brasileiro de Asa Delta 1ra Etapa - Brazilian HG Open 1st round - Valadares (Brazil)
30 March 2017 2017 Abierto de Humocaro - Humocaro edo. Lada (Venezuela)
31 March 2017 2017 Indonesia Air Games (IAG) - Toga Hill, Sumedang (Indonesia)
01 April 2017 2017 Mustafa V.KOC F3J Sorist Gecitkale Kupasi - Mersin (Turkey)
05 April 2017 2017 Alpen Cup - Brauneck, Lenggries (Germany)
07 April 2017 2017 Rana Cup - Rana near Louny (Czech Rep.)
07 April 2017 2017 PGAWC Serbia - Vrsac (Serbia)
07 April 2017 2017 Eastern European Cup “Brilliant Foot”, First Round - Cesis (Latvia)
07 April 2017 2017 Juegos Deportivos Nacionales Guatemala Open - Rabinal, Baja Verapaz (Guatemala)
08 April 2017 2017 Dalby Big Air - Dalby, Queensland (Australia)
08 April 2017 2017 Tisza cup - Szeged (Hungary)
08 April 2017 2017 F3K Vercelli International Contest - Carisio (Italy)
08 April 2017 2017 Harghita Cup - Deva (Romania)
More events

 

14th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett - Brussels (BEL) 1925

Start: Bruxelles (Solbosch), June 7th         

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

The fight for the second Gordon Bennett Cup had begun. Would it take another 18 years until one nation could notch up three victories in a row? Belgian sculptor Van de Kerchove had created a masterpiece. Intertwined, rising figures, resting on each other, symbolising the wish of mankind to rise free above the earth.

The field at the gasworks in Solbosch was decided for the launch of the race for the fourth time now. Close to the sea surely not an ideal field, but where in this country can a place with much more distance be found. And till then the ocean had not set a limit to the races. Armbruster (1921) and Demuyter (1923 and 1924) had risked to cross the Channel or the Sund and gained victory in spite of the waters under their baskets.

At least 18 balloons must have launched on this summer Sunday, but there are only 16 in the official lists of results. In the reports about the race, a French balloon GRAND CHARLES and a Spanish ESPERTO showed up, which can't be discovered in the lists. We will hear from them later.

This summer was extremely hot in Europe. Some days after the launch the citizens of Berlin were ordered to save water, for there was an extreme shortage due to the continuing heat, also at the soccer final for the German championship on the same day spectators and players suffered from the dreadful climate (1.FC Nürnberg won 1 : 0 against FSV Frankfurt in the extra time).

The political situation in Germany had become a little more normal, the inflation was over, people got used to the new "Rentenmark" and in the towns one soon started to talk of the "Golden Twenties" which now started. In April, Hindenburg had been elected to the Reich's-President in the second ballot with a short majority against Wilhelm Marx, who had been nominated by the Centrum-party. In May the "Deutsche Museum" in Munich was solemnly opened (it was under construction since 1906), and one started to be worried about the fate of Roald Amundsen, who was lost since May 23rd and did not return from his failed attempt to fly to the North Pole before June 18th.

Another important event in aviation in 1925 was the accident of the American airship SHENANDOAH, which broke up on September 3rd, causing 13 deaths. On November 21st German motor pilot Amelie Beese-Boutard dies, at only 39 years of age, she had set up the world female record for duration with 2 hours and 9 minutes in 1911 and later headed the BOUTARD airplane factory together with her husband.

Let's go to the Gordon Bennett Race. Ernest Demuyter and his proven co-pilot Leon Coeckelberg were considered hot favourites. Still young American Ward T. van Orman, 14th in the year before, had a burning ambition to fly his GOODYEAR III to victory. But also the Italian Major Grassi, Englishman Percival Spencer, the Belgium's Labrousse and Veenstra were experienced Gordon Bennett warriors. So there as a lot of tension for sure. Only the wind direction created problems. Wind came from the northeast, and turned north far out on the Atlantic, so there was almost no chance to reach the south coast of England by crossing the Channel. Spanish pilot Suesena and American Flood had gone for this direction at the beginning, but then accepted that they would only scratch along the south coast, but not reach it. Spanish La Llave and Englishman Johnson had flown too much south for a channel crossing from the beginning.. After 130 to 200 km their flights ended in the most northerly part of France between Calais, Boulogne and the mouth of the Somme, where the English balloon ELSIE was completely destroyed at the landing by crashing into a train.

A lot farther went Ilari (ITA), Dunville (GBR), Bienaime (FRA), Bachmann (SUI), Spencer (GBR) and Labrousse (BEL). They stood in sight of the coast until they reached the Normandy. On this peninsula they tried to gather some more kilometres, until they were in front of the huge Atlantic in the area of Granville. The Italians Valle and Grassi had tried from the beginning on, to fly a heading as much south as possible. In the Bretagne they found out, that this would offer no more further distance to them, at least 550 or 598 kilometres were good for rank 3 and 4. Ernest Demuyter was still more resolutely. He kept his heading of SSW until he reached the south coast of the Bretagne, where he finally finished his flight in front of the sea at Quimper.

They all has preferred the safe landing on hard surface, and looking back, it proved, that any flying on was a big risk. French balloon GRAND CHARLES was fished out of the sea, Spanish ESPERTO came too close to the chimney of a steamer when trying to land on the ship and burned. Ward T. van Orman had lots of luck. At Brest he had flown out to the sea, in the second night he discovered the Dutch steamer VATERLAND below him. With a flashlight he signalled his emergency and around midnight he managed a safe landing on the deck of the ship. He left the basket with dry feet and continued his journey on the VATERLAND. This was an excellent performance, but according to the rules it had to lead to disqualification. (See remarks to the race of 1908).

Alexander Veenstra and Philippe Quersin wanted to win it in this year. In the year before they had flown to the last rank in 33 hours. Their ambition was to prove to the world and their fellow citizens that Ernest Demuyter was not the only excellent pilot in Belgium. His victories had made ballooning popular, now young and ambitious men had joined, who emulated him. For 47 hours Veenstra and Quersin stood in the basket of the PRINCE LEOPOLD, most of the time above the Bay of Biscay. They had flown far out to the sea until the wind turned more north. They prayed for Spain to come, this country was the last opportunity for a safe landing ahead of the insurmountable expanse of the Atlantic.

Dear reader, have a look at a good map of Spain and try to find Cabo Torinana on it. It is about 80 km west southwest of the town of La Coruna, or more simple, if you look to the extreme north western part of this peninsula. South of Cabo Torinana is Cabo Finisterre, and in England a quite similar point is called "Landsend". Exactly that is it! The two pilots hit this little tip, right on the steep cliffs they reached the ground. To the south, west and north nothing more than the wide sea. This place was not suitable to pack the balloon. So Quersin left the basket, to carry the inflated balloon more towards the land. He might have thought, that enough gas had been released to leave without danger. The disaster feared by all balloonists now happened: The balloon is caught by a gust of wind, rips off, climbs due to the lack of weight to a high altitude, only to return in a quick fall, without sufficient ballast left, to the ground, which means the ocean here. Veenstra was now alone in the basket, the ballast was used up in the 47-hours flight. Feeling safe on the ground after an almost eternal flight over the Biscay just a moment ago, he was now back over the sea with even worse chances. There was only one possibility to survive, to climb from the basket to the load-ring. He knew, the basket would immerse, but its weight would reduce the fall, so the envelope, net and load-ring would be kept away from diving in for some time. For 6 1/2 hours Veenstra stood in this situation, then he was discovered by the Spanish steamer FERNANDO-CARDONA and taken on board.

According to the rules, this was a correct landing, for they had touched hard surface first. With 1380 kilometres, twice as much as Demuyter, they were declared to be the winners. Belgium had won the race for the fourth time in a series, but this time the winners name was Alexander Veenstra, not Ernest Demuyter. We will meet Veenstra in another two races (in total he participated in seven races), but he could not repeat his success.

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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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