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Solar Impulse Team Still Waiting for Good Weather Conditions to Cross the Pacific Ocean

Although Swiss pilot André Borschberg was getting ready for a possible take-off tonight from Nanjing...

21 May 2000: The Story of Lindsay Muir's Hot Air Balloon World Record

Balloon World Record not broken since We are pleased to continue our series of world record celeb...

Bonhomme Wins Japan Debut for Red Bull Air Race

Britain’s Paul Bonhomme won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship’s first-race ever in Japan on S...

FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 Flame Handover Ceremony and Airshow to Take Place on 28 May in Lausanne

The FAI will stage an exceptional ceremony at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursd...

FAI Head Office closed on Monday 25 May 2015

FAI Head Office closed on Monday 25 May 2015

The FAI Head Office will be closed on Monday 25 May 2015 for a public holiday. The office will reopen on Tuesday 24 May.

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FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 Flame Handover Ceremony and A....

FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 Flame Handover Ceremony and A....

The FAI will stage an exceptional ceremony at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday 28 May 2015: the FAI World Air Games Flame will be lit and handed over to the representatives of ....

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FAI Announces Winners of the 2015 FAI Young Artists Contest

FAI Announces Winners of the 2015 FAI Young Artists Contest

The FAI is pleased to announce the list of the winners for the 2015 FAI Young Artists Contest. An international jury selected the three best paintings for each of the categories: Junior (ages 6-9), In....

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 A Series of Fruitful Meetings Ahead of the FAI World Air Ga....

A Series of Fruitful Meetings Ahead of the FAI World Air Ga....

As the 200-day mark to the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 approaches, everyone, from the Event Organisers to the Executive Board, the FAI Head Office, the Air Sports Commissions and experts, is in ful....

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FAI Annual Report: 2014 Edition Is Out!

FAI Annual Report: 2014 Edition Is Out!

We are thrilled to share the new 2014 FAI Annual Report. In these pages you will be taken on a journey through the various events and activities of the Federation. View online Flipbook Download P....

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Interview with Pierre Duval, President of the FAI Environmental Commis....

Interview with Pierre Duval, President of the FAI Environmental Commis....

Frenchman Pierre Duval, 50, is the new President of the FAI Environmental Commission (EnvC) since his election by the Delegates during the last annual meeting of the Commission in February 2013. He ....

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Tony Iberler, youngest pilot ever to participate in a world helicopter....

Tony Iberler, youngest pilot ever to participate in a world helicopter....

Tony Iberler qualified as an Helicopter Pilot in Germany on his 17th birthday, one year before he can legally drive a car. In 2012, still aged 17, he was selected as a member of the German National T....

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Interview with John Dickenson, recipient of the FAI Gold Air Medal

Interview with John Dickenson, recipient of the FAI Gold Air Medal

At the 2012 FAI Awards Ceremony held yesterday in Antalya, Turkey, John Dickenson was presented with the FAI Gold Air Medal by FAI President John Grubbström for his great contribution to the developm....

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Maxim Sotnikov (RUS): Helicopter Pilot

Maxim Sotnikov (RUS): Helicopter Pilot

Although Maxim Sotnikov learned to fly helicopters only 6 years ago, he is already one of the world’s best pilots and will be one to watch at the 14th FAI World Helicopter Championship that will t....

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Pál Tákats (HUN): Paragliding Aerobatics Champion

Pál Tákats (HUN): Paragliding Aerobatics Champion

At 16 years old, Pál knew that paragliding was going to be more than just the next new hobby sport for him. Dedicating his time to flying from the day he left school, he and his young and talented Hu....

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Current Events

until 31 May 2015 2015 Nordic Championship HG Herning (Denmark)
until 30 May 2015 2015 Uppsala Masters Sundbro (Sweden)
until 31 May 2015 2015 Swiss Open National Gliding Championship Buttwil (Switzerland)
until 29 May 2015 1st FAI World Cup of Wingsuit Performance Flying Netheravon (United Kingdom)

 

Latest FAI World Record Claims

05 May 2015 Aeromodelling and Spacemodelling : Duration: 228 : 1h 38 min 38 sec Bernard Bilquey (FRA)
04 May 2015 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 710.00 km/h Daniel G. Raffaelli (USA)
28 April 2015 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a closed circuit of 2 000 km without payload : 451.00 km/h John S. Brush (USA)
28 April 2015 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 830.00 km/h Jeremy A Schneider (USA)
26 April 2015 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 1000.00 km/h Eric L. Henman (USA)
26 April 2015 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Straight distance to a declared goal : 156.3 km Kathleen Rigg (GBR)
24 April 2015 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 840.00 km/h Brett C. Rundle (USA)
24 April 2015 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 920.00 km/h Eric L. Henman (USA)
24 April 2015 Parachuting : Distance : 164.00 m Cornelia Mihai (UAE)
24 April 2015 Parachuting : Carved Speed 70m : 2.019 sec Mohammed Baker (UAE)
24 April 2015 Parachuting : Carved Speed 70m : 2.019 sec Mohammed Baker (UAE)
23 April 2015 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 665.00 km/h Jeremy A Schneider (USA)
22 April 2015 Microlights and paramotors : Altitude : 5'066 m Anthony Green (GBR)
21 April 2015 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Distance over a triangular course : 127.1 km Laurent Faniel (FRA)
21 April 2015 Microlights and paramotors : Time to climb to a height of 3 000 m : 41 min 35 sec Karen Skinner (ESP)
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11th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett - Geneva (SUI) 1922

Start: Geneva, Sunday, August 6th        

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

The two Swiss officers, Paul Armbruster and Louis Ansermier, had brought the race to this alpine country for the second time after 1909. As the winners in 1908, Schaeck and Messner, tried to succeed separately in the following race, but none of them managed to do so. Good teams should not be torn apart, there are only a few examples, where both took profit from this. Of course, the second man in the basket is in the shadow of the fame, so it is understandable, if he wants to show up in the list of the winners as pilot-in-command by himself.

Favourites of course were the Belgian Ernest Demuyter and the American R. E. Honeywell. Demuyter had kept his second man in the basket from 1921, when he had to bury his hopes for victory because of the soldier who involuntarily travelled with him. We will meet Veenstra several times later. Honeywell would have earned the victory, it should have been his turn. He takes part for the fifth time, in both 1913 and 1920 he reached second place. Now he had chosen Wade as co-pilot, who had reached rank 2 with Lahm in 1911. Bienaime, winner of 1912, and Labrousse, co-pilot of Demuyter at his first victory, also were considered as candidates for the first places by the experts.

For the Swiss competitors the president of the aero-club had the idea for a special incentive. For the best fellow citizen he offered the brand new balloon "Thuna" of 900 cubic meters as prize, but only if he would rank among the first five.

The town of the League of Nations did everything, to deal with the race in the best organising manner. The list of the officials contained totally 228 names. Never before a race was hold so early in the year, probably they wanted to spare the cold nights in September or October from the participants. Doing this, one had to accept that thunderstorms could endanger the balloons. In mid-summer these weather conditions are met more often than in fall. From August 1st on the competitors were in town, from then on the count down was running. 50.000 cu m of gas was necessary for the inflation of the 19 balloons, now everybody hoped for success. Weather was quite good in the beginning, so many spectators came to the launch field, but not the same amount as in Zurich in 1909.

Low ground winds allowed inflation of the balloons without any problems, at altitude it blew quicker, promising long distances. But before launch, the situation got worse. Those who took off first flew quite well, the latter ones had to fight with thunder and snowstorms. Several balloons were forced back to earth quite soon after launch. So the still excluded Germans and Austrians could see landing balloons on their territory. For six balloons, the flight ended in Austria, five came back to earth in Germany, of course none of them had any influence to the results on the first ranks.

But the Germans had other problems in those days. Their inflation meanwhile had grown to an avalanche. At the beginning of August, the change for one dollar was 860 marks, at the end of the month it was noted already with 1990 marks.

Back to the race: Demuyter used his proved tactics. Go at once to a high altitude, where the fastest wind is. His average speed was 53,3 km/h. Only in one race till then, the winner was even faster: Hans Gericke flying from Kansas City in 1911. In 1912, from Stuttgart, snowstorms are reported, but the average speed of the winner was "only" 47,9 km/h. Although the speed is not measured in a Gordon Bennett Race and therefore has no influence in the ranking, those who find the fast layer and can keep the balloon in it create the foundation for their victory. This becomes clearly visible comparing Demuyter with Honeywell, ranking second again. Honeywell flew half an hour longer, but more than 300 km shorter.

From this flight, Ernest Demuyter gave a report in his book "Randonnées Victorieuses BELGICA". Who could tell more authentically?

Report Demuyter

Escaped BELGICA was never found. Demuyter was still in Bucarest when he received a comforting telegram from his King Albert I.: "When you return to Bruxelles, receive my warmest congratulations for your wonderful victory. With this success in aviation you have made a big contribution to the tradition of the Belgian people, to show courage in the moment of decision!" So the financing of a new BELGICA should be sure. It was and the balloon rushed from victory to victory in the following years.

Captain Paul Armbruster became seventh as the best Swiss competitor, so he was not among the first five. The brand new balloon "Thuna" from the Swiss aero-club was given to the balloon department Romande in Lausanne, as it had been decided before if such a case would happen. The Lausannians felt as if they had got the jackpot in a lottery.

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2015 FAI Young Artists Contest

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This year's theme is "Create a poster for the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015". Give free rein to your imagination – you might earn one of the Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals!

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Clean sport

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Find out more about the FAI Anti-Doping Programme.

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Browse the list of the FAI Awards recipients.

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3h 54m 59s = World Record manpowered aircraft

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There are 150 pilots in Paragliding Worlds

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