Red Bull Air Race Returns to the Record-Setting Crowds of Chiba, Japan

RedBullAirRace 2016 race calendarMotorsport fans who couldn’t get enough of the Red Bull Air Race when it made its debut in Chiba, Japan last year will get another chance to see the action, as the World Championship series returns on 4/5 June, 2016. Tickets are sure to go fast: last year, a record 120,000 spectators sold out both days in advance. The 2016 stop promises to be more unpredictable than ever, and will again feature Japan’s own Yoshihide “Yoshi” Muroya, who is expected to be in the thick of the battle for a win after earning two podiums in the final four races of 2015.


Female pilot to make history as she joins the Challenger Cup for the 2016 Red Bull Air Race season

melanie astlesThe 2016 Challenger Cup promises plenty of surprises for 2016, with three new contenders in the eight-pilot field. New for 2016 are Mélanie Astles, a five time French aerobatic champion who has earned top ten rankings at World and European levels. She is the first woman ever to compete in the sport. Astles will compete against fellow debutants Ben Murphy and Kevin Coleman. The UK’s Ben Murphy is a former Commanding Officer and team leader of the RAF’s Red Arrows display team. Kevin Coleman, a flying prodigy from the US Advanced Aerobatic Team is the first American to join the ranks of the Challenger Class and will be the youngest competitor this season. 2016 will also see the return of Luke Czepiela, an accomplished Polish aerobatic pilot who competed in the 2014 season.


CIAM Flyer (6-2015) - Night of Design

CIAM Flyer 06-2015Anyone building a model aeroplane usually does this in isolation, i.e. alone and in their own workshop. This means that exchanges of experience directly on the object and encouragement from role models are rare.


Gliding pilot Sebastian Kawa named Athlete of the Month by IWGA

Sebastian Kawa IWGAThe International World Games Association (IWGA) announced the nomination of Polish pilot Sebastian Kawa as the Athlete of the Month for December 2015. 

Kawa has just won the Gliding event of the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 and has been keeping himself at the top of Gliding competitions for more than a decade. 

FAI congratulates him on this great news.


First sailplane flight over Dubai



On 7 December 2015 an historic first flight of a sailplane over the skyline of Dubai was performed. The pilots were Klaus Ohlmann and Tilo Holighaus.

Here is Klaus's story of that flight.


After my presentation at the end of the Aeromedical congress, I paid a visit to our gliding friends in the Desert Drop Zone, where they were engaged in the "Gliding Match Race" event. Afterwards, we joined the German team for dinner in their hotel.

As part of the effort to demonstrate our sport in Dubai, Schempp-Hirth had brought a brand new Arcus M , the latest doubleseater of their glider production. Tilo Holighaus proposed to me the idea of making some VIP-Flights with the Arcus. It was his brother Ralf who innocently posed the question of whether the famous skyscrapers of Dubai could produce lift, with an onshore breeze from the Gulf.

I was immediately hooked by that idea. Although late in the night, I looked at the forecast and found, that just two days later a fresh breeze of 20 knots was expected, coming right from the favorable direction.

The next morning we made an appointment with WAG director Helmut Schlecht. He received us with enthusiasm, especially because a lot of other airsport competitions had to be cancelled due to the strong wind.

Susannne Schoedel, Secretary General of FAI and Visa-Matti Leinikki, both passionate glider pilots, gave a green light as well.

The next day (7 December 2015) we had a short briefing. Helmut had thought about everything: airspace clearances, media coverage with helicopter, and ground TV-Team.

We decided to make an aerotow from the Desert Drop Zone, half an hour at 1500 feet behind the Piper tow plane. We released just above the city and swung in front of the row of skyscrapers. It is difficult to imagine how amazed we were, when we felt the firm lift on the windward side of the buildings, even though it was expected. A lot of spectators and TV cameras on the ground followed our silent surf on the beautiful skyline of Dubai. The helicopter with a cameraman on board joined us to capture what was somewhat of a historical moment in history of gliding: the first ever soaring above the skyscrapers of Dubai!

Wolf Hirth, cofounder of Schempp-Hirth, who made an historical flight along the Hudson River above Manhattan in 1931, would have been proud, that once again a glider from Schempp-Hirth was making history amongst the skyscrapers. This time, pilots Klaus Ohlmann and Tilo Holighaus felt fortunate to be able to share in that history.

The following day, the weather was even better and I could give a gliding lesson to a good pilot from the local aviation community for three and a half hours. We flew not only along the skyline but also over the famous Palm Jumeirah under some nice cloudstreets over the sea. He did not know how beautiful gliding is. Now, he will start to dream....

Klaus Ohlmann



Flying high: final FAI World Air Games medals awarded

airshow-end-wagsTwelve sets of medals were awarded at the Closing Ceremony of the FAI World Air Games in Dubai, as the sun set on the two-week event celebrating air sports from around the world.


Medals galore! FAI World Air Games champions crowned


23694521165 1895c40d42_kDozens of medals were presented at the first of two ceremonies taking place at the Palm Dropzone today (December 12).

Mounting the podium this time; microlight and gyrocopter pilots, formation parachutists and speed skydivers.


Marco Wiederkehr flies to Gold at 533km/h

23609679081 7de51e106d_kMarco Wiederkehr is officially the world’s fastest skydiver. He won the Speed Skydiving event here at the FAI World Air Games and set a new world record while doing it.

“I set the new world record on my first jump,” he said after the competition was over. “I hit 533km/h. That’s 140 metres a second, or a kilometre in 6.5 seconds.”

He added: “There are only six people in the world who have gone faster than 500km/h in speed skydiving and they are all here.”


Standing ovation for new Hot Air Ballooning champion

23676876305 16dc99f324_kDavid Strasmann of Germany was presented with a Gold medal last night (December 11) for winning the FAI World Air Games Hot Air Ballooning competition.

A crowd of about 300 spectators and supporters cheered wildly and gave the winner a standing ovation as he accepted his medal.


Formation skydiving and the 90-minute turnaround

23588283171 ae1ed5d6f1_k_copyBriton Simon Guest only has 90 minutes. That's the turnaround time between jumps in the FAI World Air Games 4-way Formation Skydiving competition.

Along with teammates Mike Hayes, Pete Mather and Ady King, they have just completed one of ten 35-second runs in which they managed 18 points.


All rise for Russian Rotorcraft champs

23560674102 6c905f3c9b_k“Russia! Russia!” rang out across the Skydive Dubai Palm Dropzone last night (December 11), as Russian helicopter pilots Alexander Zhuperin and Nikolay Burov stepped up for their Rotorcraft gold medals.

The new FAI World Air Games champions were joined on the podium by silver medallists Michal and Marcin Szamborski from Poland, and Austrians Thomas Morgenstern and Stefan Seer, there to claim bronze.


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