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He Made It ! Borschberg Flies Solar Impulse Across the Pacific Ocean

To have flown the zero-fuel aircraft, Solar Impulse, for five days and five nights alone across the ...

FAI Confirms that Borschberg’s Solo Flight Is the Longest Ever Achieved in an Airplane

FAI confirms that at 22:48 UTC Swiss Pilot André Borschberg superseded Steve Fossett’s 2005 duration...

4th F3A Lowland Cup in Deelen, Netherlands

 Marco Mazzucchelli from Italy is the winner of this 2015 F3A World Cup event. Andre Bracht fro...

Solar Impulse Entered into the Second Night of its Flight across the Pacific Ocean

The solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse, with André Borschberg at the controls, is currently flying...

Opening Ceremony of the 2nd FAI World Paramotor Slalom Championships

The 2nd FAI World Paramotor Slalom Championships were officially declared open by CIMA Vice Presiden...

FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 - General Bulletin Now Online

FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 - General Bulletin Now Online

The General Bulletin N. 1 of the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 is now published and available for download.

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Dream of Seeing Air Sports at Olympic Games Postponed

Dream of Seeing Air Sports at Olympic Games Postponed

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organising Committee has announced that eight International Federations have been shortlisted for potential inclusion in the programme of the Games and will participate in....

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Paragliding : An Olympic Sport ?

Paragliding : An Olympic Sport ?

Following the invitation from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organising Committee to 35 International Federations, the FAI has selected Paragliding as a potential additional sport. FAI, the FAI Hang G....

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2015 FAI Active Members’ Presidents Meeting in Alicante

2015 FAI Active Members’ Presidents Meeting in Alicante

The representatives of 18 FAI Members, the Executive Board and Head Office staff members gathered in Alicante, Spain, on Saturday for the 2015 FAI Active Members’ Presidents Meeting.

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Handover of FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 Flame  Marks Star....

Handover of FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 Flame Marks Star....

In a symbolic gesture, today the torch of the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 was lit and handed over today by FAI to the Emirates Aerosports Federation (EAF) as the Games Organising Committee. The cer....

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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 12 July 2015 2015 FAI F3 World Championships for Model Helicopters Klopeinersee, Carinthia (Austria)
until 12 July 2015 2015 Campionato Italiano Deltaplano Falzes (Italy)
until 12 July 2015 2015 Open Lithuanian national championship 15m. Rivanazzano (Italy)
until 12 July 2015 8th Trofeo dellOltrepo Rivanazzano (Italy)
until 11 July 2015 2015 Open Ibérico Piedrahita Piedrahita (Spain)
until 11 July 2015 2015 Vågå Open and Norwegian National Championship Vaaga (Norway)
until 11 July 2015 2015 Gin Wide Open Tolmin (Slovenia)
until 06 July 2015 2015 UP Krkonose Open Vrchlabi (Czech Rep.)
until 06 July 2015 2015 Vilnius Cup Klabiniai (Lithuania)
until 11 July 2015 2015 Campeonato Nacional de Parapente Montalegre (Portugal)
until 12 July 2015 2015 Russian Open Cup Aparan (Armenia)
until 07 September 2015 2015 ASIANIA "EMAX" video competition Location to be advised (To be advised)

 

Latest FAI World Record Claims

01 July 2015 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Distance over a triangular course : 200.8 km Kathleen Rigg (GBR)
01 July 2015 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Distance over a triangular course : 200.08 km Kathleen Rigg (GBR)
01 July 2015 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Speed over a triangular course of 200 km : 27.08 km/h Kathleen Rigg (GBR)
01 July 2015 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Speed over a triangular course of 200 km : 27.08 km/h Kathleen Rigg (GBR)
30 June 2015 Microlights and paramotors : Speed over a straight course : 303.00 km/h Eric De Barberin-Barberini (FRA)
29 June 2015 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Straight distance : 428 km Bogdan Bazyuk (UKR)
27 June 2015 Rotorcraft : Speed over a recognised course : 37.5 km/h Sergey Ananov (RUS)
26 June 2015 Gliding : Speed over a triangular course of 300 km : 163.00 km/h Alan M. Polinsky (USA)
26 June 2015 Gliding : Speed over a triangular course of 500 km : 163.00 km/h Alan M. Polinsky (USA)
25 June 2015 Gliding : Speed over a triangular course of 100 km : 191 km/h Sibylle Andresen (GER)
22 June 2015 Gliding : Distance using up to 3 turn points : 758.89 km Takeshi Saito (JPN)
18 June 2015 Rotorcraft : Speed over a recognised course : 56.00 km/h Sergey Ananov (RUS)
18 June 2015 Parachuting : - : 42 skydivers
18 June 2015 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Straight distance : 200.35 km Norbert Varga (HUN)
18 June 2015 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Free distance using up to 3 turn points : 200.35 km Norbert Varga (HUN)
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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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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