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Solar Impulse to Take Off Tonight 25 May at 7pm UTC in Attempt to Cross the Pacific Ocean

  After several weeks waiting for good flying weather, the Solar Impulse team have announced t...

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)
More records

12th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett - Brussels (BEL) 1923

Start: Brussels, September 23rd, 4 p.m.        

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

This will be the race, in which the attendant circumstances were to be more reported than about the flight itself. If this would have been the third victory in a series for Belgium (without the interruption by Switzerland in 1921), the 1923 Gordon Bennett Race could have been the last one. Who would have tried to set it up again, if five competitors had met death in the previous race?

Until 1998 no Gordon-Bennett-Race was cancelled or even postponed because of weather conditions. Snowstorms and rain often have struck the pilots with a lot of stress. It also often took days, until the first signs of life reached the championship organisation after landing and, let's remember 1908, sometimes it was believed, that some competitors had not survived the flight. But it had always ended well. 1923 became the most tragic of all competitions.

21 balloons were inflated in bright sunshine on the already known Solbosch plain near Bruxelles. The stands and places for spectators were well crowded, it is told, more than 100.000 people had been there. The wind wasn't very strong in the beginning, but quite gusty. Launch preparations were on the run, when the sky darkened and a heavy thunderstorm came up. Lightening flashed through the clouds, soon rain clattered down in heavy drops, followed by hail. Three teams from Italy and one from Poland (entered for the first time) declared, not to launch under these circumstances. Looking back, they made the right decision.

At about 4 p.m. PICARDIE launched first, flown by the Belgium Veenstra, who had been the second man in the basket of Demuyter the year before. It was the same balloon that had won the race for France with Bienaime in 1912. The Spanish balloon DURO followed with Guillen/Sierra. At the take-off of the third balloon, the first misfortune happened. U.S. ARMY S.6 was not exactly balanced, did not get enough altitude at the right time and hit VILLE DE BRUXELLES with its basket. The basket got caught in the net and tore it from the equator up to the vent. So the Belgium Labrousse also stayed on the ground, the year before he had been fourth. But that was not all of the mishaps at the launch. The balloon of the "eternal second" Honeywell, US ARMY was obviously filled too full. At about 5 p.m., a gust of wind shook the balloon so strongly, that it burst still on the ground. Honeywell, already in the basket, said afterwards: "This should have been my sixth Gordon Bennett Race, but fate said no".

With this wind it might have been very difficult for the launch crews to level out the balloons. Overall, all lifted only slowly and then had to dump a lot of ballast immediately to prevent them from crashing against the nearby houses. In the rush, whole sandbags flew overboard. It is a miracle, that no spectator, who stayed there in spite of the thunderstorm, got hurt. They did not see anything from the disasters that followed now for the balloons had already gone out of sight. First it met the Spanish balloon POLAR. After half an hour of flight he was above Heist op den Berg, when a flash of lightening struck its envelope, set the gas on fire and sent him burning back to earth. Co-pilot Penaranda did not survive the fall, Gomez was lucky, he survived, both legs broken. 40 minutes later a flash of lightening struck the Swiss balloon GENF with the pilots von Grüningen and Wehren. Both met death when the burning balloon sank to earth at Moll. The same happened to the Americans Olmstead and Choptaw, killed by lightening near Moerdyck.

There was no radio on board in those days. The other competitors got no news of the tragic occurrences if they had not seen them by themselves. They had to deal with the awful weather alone and landed very soon after short flights between 50 and 300 kilometres, mostly in the Netherlands, where the Spanish Magdalena/Baselga destroyed a high tension power line, but stood unhurt. Only four balloons reached longer distances. The Englishmen Spencer and Berry with their balloon MARGARET were pulled out of the sea 20 miles north of Skagen/Denmark. Swiss Armbruster with Dr.Bachmann in the basket of HELVETIA landed at Flensburg, close to the Baltic Sea. The Belgian balloons PICARDIE and BELGICA crossed the Sund flew deep into Sweden. Demuyter and his co-pilot Coeckelbergh still 150 kilometres more than Veenstra and Quersin. Demuyter had gained his third victory! Let us read his report:

report Demuyter

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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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FAI Awards

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Browse the list of the FAI Awards recipients.

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IOC Recognised

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3h 54m 59s = World Record manpowered aircraft

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Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth

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There are 150 pilots in Paragliding Worlds

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