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Solar Impulse 2 completes short hop to Pennsylvania!

The Swiss-made solar plane Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) with Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard in the pilot...

Congratulations from Space for the FAI Komarov Diploma!

“I am absolutely delighted for Scott and Mikhail to receive that very well deserved honour.” Live fr...

12 May 2011: First Human-Powered Rotorcraft Record Celebrates 5 Years Anniversary!

On 12 May 2011, biology student and female pilot Judith Wexler flew the human-powered helicopter “Ga...

2015 FAI Annual Report Just Out!

The 2015 FAI Annual Report provides an overview of all our activities with plenty of pictures. More ...

Winners of the 2016 FAI Young Artists Contest Revealed

The FAI international jury selected the winning paintings of the 2016 FAI Young Artists Contest, a c...

FAI at the International Military Sports Council

FAI at the International Military Sports Council

FAI President Dr. John Grubbström and FAI Secretary General Susanne Schödel attended the 2016 CISM (International Military Sports Council) Annual Congress in Tartu, Estonia, to further develop the l....

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2015 FAI Annual Report Just Out!

2015 FAI Annual Report Just Out!

The 2015 FAI Annual Report provides an overview of all our activities with plenty of pictures. More compact than the previous editions, it includes the competitions, records, awards, our sponsor Breit....

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Winners of the 2016 FAI Young Artists Contest Revealed

Winners of the 2016 FAI Young Artists Contest Revealed

The FAI international jury selected the winning paintings of the 2016 FAI Young Artists Contest, a competition which every year honours the best paintings from youngsters in three age categories from ....

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FAI at the Red Bull Air Race

FAI at the Red Bull Air Race

FAI President Dr. John Grubbström was in Abu Dhabi at the Red Bull Air Race on Saturday 12 March 2016 – and met up with the General Manager of the Red Bull Air Race Erich Wolf.

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Bidding Process for the Next FAI World Air Games Open

Bidding Process for the Next FAI World Air Games Open

The FAI World Air Games is the biggest air sports event in the world. This multi-disciplinary event is the only world competition that brings together the various different air sports and their very b....

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Olympic ski jumper swaps skis for helicopter skids

Olympic ski jumper swaps skis for helicopter skids

Helicopter pilot Thomas Morgenstern has finished in bronze medal position in the FAI World Air Games Parallel Slalom and Fender competition here in Dubai. The final to decide the gold and silver medal....

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Seven steps to success: an acrobatic paragliding masterclass with FAI ....

Seven steps to success: an acrobatic paragliding masterclass with FAI ....

French paraglider Tim Alongi, 24, is the new FAI World Air Games Paragliding Aerobatics Champion. Alongi also won the silver medal in the Sychronised Paragliding Aerobatics competition, along with hi....

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British air sports legend helicopters in

British air sports legend helicopters in

Even among the large crowds at the FAI World Air Games, it's hard to miss Quentin Smith. The flamboyant British helicopter pilot wears a Union Jack jacket, and has been flying, he says, since the age ....

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Gege is here to win

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. At just 53kg, the petite Thai girl looks like she can barely lift the ....

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Nicole Schmidt sorts the men from the boys

Nicole Schmidt sorts the men from the boys

Nicole Schmidt from Germany, has been flying paragliders for 11 years. For the last six she's been performing aerobatic tricks, or "acro". It's a discipline very few women attempt, and this year Schmi....

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Current Events

until 29 May 2016 2016 Open Delta d'Annecy Annecy (France)
until 29 May 2016 2016 Cerdagne Perpignan (France)
until 01 June 2016 2016 BOS Round 2 Hawes (United Kingdom)
until 29 May 2016 2016 EuroContest Tynaarlo - Category F3 - Radio Controlled Flight Tynaarlo (Netherlands)
until 30 May 2016 2016 Rainbow Cup - Category F3 - Radio Controlled Flight Saransk (Russia)
until 29 May 2016 2016 F2B Styria Cup - Category F2 - Control Line Circular Flight Liezen (Austria)
until 29 May 2016 2016 International Ludesch Open Ludesch (Austria)
until 29 May 2016 2016 Worldcup - Almenlandrace - Category F3 - Radio Controlled Flight Sommeralm (Austria)
until 29 May 2016 2016 Austrian Championships & German Open Werfenweg (Austria)
until 03 June 2016 2016 Mt Cuarnan, Gemona, British Paragliding Open Gemona del Friuli (Italy)
until 29 May 2016 2016 Sloping Denmark - Category F3 - Radio Controlled Flight Hanstholm (Denmark)
until 29 May 2016 2016 Criterium International du Hainaut - Category F3 - Radio Controlled Flight Grandrieu (Belgium)
until 29 May 2016 2016 Norwegian Cup 3 Hvittingfoss (Norway)
until 29 May 2016 2016 Kitheronas XC open (Greek League) Plataies, Voiotia (Greece)
until 04 June 2016 2016 Czech Gliding Championship Moravská Třebová (Czech Rep.)
until 29 May 2016 2016 EUROTOUR - F5J Lanskroun - Category F5 - Radio Controlled Electric Powered Flight Lanskroun (Czech Rep.)
until 03 June 2016 3rd FAI Asian Paragliding Accuracy Championship Taldykorgan (Kazakhstan)
until 29 May 2016 2016 Korea Open League Round 2nd Hadong (Korea)
until 29 May 2016 2016 Skytribe Open Clopotiva (Romania)
until 29 May 2016 2016 Belgrade Trophy, ACC Subotica (Serbia and Montenegro)
until 29 May 2016 33rd Srem Cup - Category F1 - Free Flight Aradac - Zrenjanin (Serbia)
until 29 May 2016 2016 "Kup orlova" , 2.round Serbian ACC league Aljudovo (Serbia)

 

Latest FAI World Record Claims

20 June 2016 Aeromodelling and Spacemodelling : Duration: 192 : 139 min 21 sec Sascha Wendt (GER)
19 June 2016 Aeromodelling and Spacemodelling : Duration: 192 : 96 min 27 sec Ralph Okon (GER)
22 May 2016 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 570.00 km/h Jeremy A Schneider (USA)
21 May 2016 Aeromodelling and Spacemodelling : Distance in a straight line: 186 : 1'255.00 m Daniel Ahrbecker (GER)
21 May 2016 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Free Distance around a triangle course : 222,2 km Michaela Brandstätter (AUT)
21 May 2016 Aeromodelling and Spacemodelling : Distance to goal and return: 188 : 2'510,00 m Daniel Ahrbecker (GER)
21 May 2016 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Free Distance around a triangle course : 222.2 km Michaela Brandstätter (AUT)
20 May 2016 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 870.00 km/h Timothy Riddell (USA)
20 May 2016 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a closed circuit of 2 000 km without payload : 468.00 km/h John S. Brush (USA)
18 May 2016 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 1000.00 km/h Eric S Parker (USA)
13 May 2016 Aeromodelling and Spacemodelling : Race Time in Competition (200 laps): 137 : 6min 22,8 sec Robert Fitzgerald (AUS)
13 May 2016 Powered Aeroplanes : Altitude : 7'315 m Bertrand Piccard (SUI)
13 May 2016 Powered Aeroplanes : Distance : 1'537.5 km Bertrand Piccard (SUI)
13 May 2016 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 84 km/h Bertrand Piccard (SUI)
11 May 2016 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Straight distance to a declared goal : 121,9 km Hermanni Keinänen (FIN)
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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2016 FAI Young Artists Contest

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This year's theme is "Air Sports in Harmony with Nature". Give free rein to your imagination – you might earn one of the Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals!

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Find out more about the FAI Anti-Doping Programme.

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There are 150 pilots in Paragliding Worlds

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