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Build it, and it will fly

23262483460 b9d3df7f37_kLuca Magni is on a mission. He's building an aircraft against the clock. Next to the spectators' stand at the FAI World Air Games Palm Dropzone, the Italian from Varese, has been turning the contents of three large packing crates into a fully functioning gyrocopter.

He's been beavering away with a colleague for days now, and expects to be ready to fly it after four days' work.

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Cotet hits the golden target

23457372852 2ed77b7cac_kThe winning pilots in the FAI World Air Games paragliding accuracy landing event were presented with their medals at the Palm Dropzone today (December 6).

Thailand's Nunnapat Phuchong was first up to collect her gold medal for attaining first place in the women's event.

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Canopy piloting: multiple medals for Team USA

 23457376492 b0fb367a80_k"The Star-spangled Banner" played five times at the FAI World Air Games medal ceremony earlier tonight (December 6), as Team USA pilots Curtis Bartholomew and Nick Batsch dominated the event.

Bartholomew was the victor in the accuracy and combined titles, and also collected the gold team medal for the USA. Batsch won the speed and freestyle events.

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Victory for Poland in the hot air airships event

22938827763 3e507949e6_kPolish pilot Wojciech Bamberski received the coveted gold medal for the hot air airships competition at the FAI World Air Games earlier this evening (December 6).

Mikhail Bakanov from Russia finished in silver position, and the bronze medal made a fabulous birthday present for Lithuanian Rimas Kostiuskevicius.

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Royal seal of approval for the FAI World Air Games

23450337872 4d491d87bb_kHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum visited the Palm Dropzone in Dubai to watch the FAI World Air Games this afternoon (Sunday 6).

The unassuming ruler of Dubai, who is the second most senior man in the country, toured the venue talking to spectators and competitors.

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Paragliding accuracy goes down to the wire

George-CurtetWith nail-biting thrills down to the very final flight, the paragliding accuracy landing competition concluded yesterday after 12 rounds. 

George Cotet from Romania finished in first place, Qiang Ma from China in second place and Goran Djurkovic from Serbia in third. The top female was Nunnapat Phuchong from Thailand, in 10th place overall. 

Excitement levels reached fever pitch in last six rounds, as Cotet and many times World Champion, Matjaz Feraric from Slovenia, battled for supremacy. 

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Champions! Aerobatics success for Italy and France

IMG 6860Huge cheers went up at Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Hotel last night (December 5), as the new FAI World Air Games aerobatics champions - France's Olivier Masurel and Italian gliding ace Luca Bertossio - received their gold medals.

The two pilots grinned in delight as they showed off their cherished new jewellery to the crowd.

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Glider aerobatics: Bertossio takes gold for Italy

IMG 6274"You're part of the aircraft, you feel it in your skin." Italian Luca Bertossio, 25, is talking about why he swapped motorised aerobatics for gliders after his win in the aerobatic gliding competition.

"With a motor you always have an excuse, but you don't need it. Two wings are all you need to fly in four dimensions. You have to get it right first time. Even your landing. You can't go around for a second try," he explained.

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Swooping win for USA

Screen Shot_2015-12-05_at_12.22.14One of the most spectacular events in the FAI World Air Games finished on Friday December 4. Classical canopy Piloting, or Swooping, is a fast-paced, beautiful discipline that combines nerves of steel with the finesse and grace of a gymnast. 

The day saw a 1,2 win for the USA when Curt Bartholemew battled it out with teammate Nick Batsch for the lead. Bartholomew seized the day and seized the win, while Nick Batsch took silver and the UAE’s Cornelia Mihai took bronze.

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Gege is here to win

You'd be forgiven for thinking 15-year-old Janejira Chuynoey is here to support a family member in the paramotoring competition.

image1At just 53kg, the petite Thai girl looks like she can barely lift the 30kg Polini Thor paramotor next to her. But when its time to gear up for the start, the smiley school girl's eyes narrow into competitive focus as she pulls on her helmet.

Chuynoey, or Gege to her friends, may be the youngest competitor at the FAI World Air Games in Dubai, but don't be fooled by her playful smile, sparkly mobile phone or cutely coiffed ponytail. She's here to win.

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A view from the FAI Environmental Commission


22840829084 13feb2610f_kWriting about environment in a huge, desert city born out of oil and gas history can be a challenging task - if you only look backwards.

There is no doubt that the level of comfort and the fantastic infrastructures here come at a price. The high level of fossil energy needed to start the process and run the day-to-day operations cannot be viewed lightly.

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