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Duel continues: Arch blasts Bonhomme in Rovinj

Austria’s Hannes Arch came from behind to beat defending champion Paul Bonhomme in a riveting final ...

Solar Impulse 2 to fly around the world without fuel

The new solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 was presented yesterday in Payerne, Switzerland, by S...

2014 International Polish Championship AeroMusicals in Pruszków, Poland

Check out the pictures of this competition on Flickr !

CIAM Flyer (02-2014) - How Aeromodellers Are Working for the Future of Mankind

The problems of mankind's future are associated with energy and resources. With solar aeromodelling,...

2013 FAI Annual Report available now !

The 2013 FAI Annual Report, which gives an overview of last year’s activities and achievements of th...

FAI President of Honour Dr. Hanspeter Hirzel passes away

FAI President of Honour Dr. Hanspeter Hirzel passes away

It is with deep regret that the FAI announces the death of Dr. Hanspeter Hirzel, FAI President  from 1992 to 1994. He passed away peacefully in Switzerland on 2 April at the age of 76 years. His ....

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2013 FAI Annual Report available now !

2013 FAI Annual Report available now !

The 2013 FAI Annual Report, which gives an overview of last year’s activities and achievements of the Federation, has been released.     View online Flipbook     Do....

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Markus Haggeney hired  as FAI Sports and Marketing Director

Markus Haggeney hired as FAI Sports and Marketing Director

The FAI has the pleasure to announce the appointment of Markus Haggeney as the new Sports and Marketing Director of the Federation, after Rob Hughes stepped down from his role as Sports Director. He h....

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FAI-Breitling Awards 2014 - Call for nominations

FAI-Breitling Awards 2014 - Call for nominations

We are now calling for nominations for the FAI-Breitling Awards for 2014: the Breitling Milestone Trophy and the Breitling Youngster Award. Both awards will be presented this October at the Awards Cer....

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Green airsports honoured with new environmental award

Green airsports honoured with new environmental award

The FAI Environmental Commission (EnvC) has established the Angelo d’Arrigo Diploma, a new FAI environmental award which aims at recognising and promoting major contributions in the field of environ....

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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 26 April 2014 2014 Veteran Cup - Category S - Space Models Meshcherino settlement, Moscow Region (Russia)
until 27 April 2014 2014 Korolev Cup - Category S - Space Models Meshcherino settlement, Moscow Region (Russia)
until 27 April 2014 2014 Trofeo Valerio Albrizio Laveno (Italy)
until 03 May 2014 2014 KLIX - international gliding cup Klix (Germany)
until 27 April 2014 2014 Upper-Austrian-Open and Upper-Austrian and Styrian Championships Micheldorf (Austria)
until 27 April 2014 2014 Southern Cross Cup - Category F1 - Free Flight Narrandera NSW (Australia)
until 28 April 2014 2014 Avios Cup Spring Open Championship of Tula Region - Category F2 - Control Line Circular Flight Tula, Alexin (Russia)
until 27 April 2014 2014 ParaStajerka Frankolovo (Slovenia)
until 27 April 2014 2014 SkyTribe XC Clopotiva (Romania)
until 26 April 2014 2014 EUROTOUR - Israel Spring - Category F3 - Radio Controlled Flight Omer (Israel)
until 27 April 2014 2014 Iguala Iguala Guerrero (Mexico)
until 27 April 2014 19th Australian National Balloon Championships and Canowindra International Balloon Challenge Canowindra (Australia)
until 03 May 2014 2014 13,5m Class Leonardo Brigliadori International Cup Alzate Brianza (Italy)

Upcoming Events

26 April 2014 8th EUROTOUR - Trofeo Elettro Citta di Biella - Category F5 - Radio Controlled Electric Powered Flight Villanova Biellese (Italy)
26 April 2014 46th Donau Wanderpokalbewerb - Category F3 - Radio Controlled Flight Hainburg (Austria)
26 April 2014 11th Kirchheim Open - Category F3 - Radio Controlled Flight Hülben (Germany)
26 April 2014 2014 Memorial of L.Janacik - Jumbo Cup - Category F1 - Free Flight Lucenec-Bolkovice (Slovakia)
26 April 2014 2014 Memorial of L.Janacik - Jumbo Cup - Category F1 - Free Flight Lucenec-Bolkovice (Slovakia)
26 April 2014 2014 Kitzbueheler Alpen Pokal St. Johann (Austria)
26 April 2014 2014 Gödöllö Open - I & II Round Hungarian Acc. League Budapest (Hungary)
26 April 2014 2nd Copa de Accuracy Yahuarcocha-Ecuador Ibarra (Ecuador)
26 April 2014 2014 Coupe du Ventoux Carpentras (France)
27 April 2014 2014 Australian Free Flight Championships - Category F1 - Free Flight Narrandera NSW (Australia)
27 April 2014 2014 Valadares International Open / Brazilian Nationals - 1st Round Governador Valadares (Brazil)
27 April 2014 2014 Amicale ASW20 Carpentras (France)
28 April 2014 2014 Laguna Seca Open San Marcos Evangelista (Mexico)
30 April 2014 2014 Cup of Center Asia Tuva, Turan (Russia)
30 April 2014 2014 ХС Crimea Paragliding Feodosia (Ukraine)
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Latest FAI World Record Claims

17 April 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 296 km/h Tanner L. Yaberg (USA)
17 April 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a Commercial Airline Route : 846 km/h Brian A. Hood (USA)
13 April 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 660 km/h Brett C. Rundle (USA)
13 April 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 830 km/h Brett C. Rundle (USA)
12 April 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a 3 km course : 609 km/h Wesley E. Behel Jr. (USA)
12 April 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Time to climb to a height of 3 000 m : 2 min Wesley E. Behel Jr. (USA)
12 April 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a 15 km course : 610 km/h Wesley E. Behel Jr. (USA)
12 April 2014 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Speed over an out-and-return course of 100 km : 31.89 km/h Seiko Fukuoka Naville (FRA)
11 April 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 810 km/h Brett C. Rundle (USA)
11 April 2014 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Speed over a triangular course of 25 km : 42.89 km/h Seiko Fukuoka Naville (FRA)
07 April 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 880 km/h James Schwertner (USA)
06 April 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 280.00 km/h Morry S. Cole (USA)
28 March 2014 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Speed over a triangular course of 50 km : 34.69 km/h Seiko Fukuoka Naville (FRA)
11 March 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 905 km/h Eric S Parker (USA)
05 March 2014 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a recognised course : 920.00 km/h Gregory S. Sheldon (USA)
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14th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett - Brussels (BEL) 1925

Start: Bruxelles (Solbosch), June 7th         

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

The fight for the second Gordon Bennett Cup had begun. Would it take another 18 years until one nation could notch up three victories in a row? Belgian sculptor Van de Kerchove had created a masterpiece. Intertwined, rising figures, resting on each other, symbolising the wish of mankind to rise free above the earth.

The field at the gasworks in Solbosch was decided for the launch of the race for the fourth time now. Close to the sea surely not an ideal field, but where in this country can a place with much more distance be found. And till then the ocean had not set a limit to the races. Armbruster (1921) and Demuyter (1923 and 1924) had risked to cross the Channel or the Sund and gained victory in spite of the waters under their baskets.

At least 18 balloons must have launched on this summer Sunday, but there are only 16 in the official lists of results. In the reports about the race, a French balloon GRAND CHARLES and a Spanish ESPERTO showed up, which can't be discovered in the lists. We will hear from them later.

This summer was extremely hot in Europe. Some days after the launch the citizens of Berlin were ordered to save water, for there was an extreme shortage due to the continuing heat, also at the soccer final for the German championship on the same day spectators and players suffered from the dreadful climate (1.FC Nürnberg won 1 : 0 against FSV Frankfurt in the extra time).

The political situation in Germany had become a little more normal, the inflation was over, people got used to the new "Rentenmark" and in the towns one soon started to talk of the "Golden Twenties" which now started. In April, Hindenburg had been elected to the Reich's-President in the second ballot with a short majority against Wilhelm Marx, who had been nominated by the Centrum-party. In May the "Deutsche Museum" in Munich was solemnly opened (it was under construction since 1906), and one started to be worried about the fate of Roald Amundsen, who was lost since May 23rd and did not return from his failed attempt to fly to the North Pole before June 18th.

Another important event in aviation in 1925 was the accident of the American airship SHENANDOAH, which broke up on September 3rd, causing 13 deaths. On November 21st German motor pilot Amelie Beese-Boutard dies, at only 39 years of age, she had set up the world female record for duration with 2 hours and 9 minutes in 1911 and later headed the BOUTARD airplane factory together with her husband.

Let's go to the Gordon Bennett Race. Ernest Demuyter and his proven co-pilot Leon Coeckelberg were considered hot favourites. Still young American Ward T. van Orman, 14th in the year before, had a burning ambition to fly his GOODYEAR III to victory. But also the Italian Major Grassi, Englishman Percival Spencer, the Belgium's Labrousse and Veenstra were experienced Gordon Bennett warriors. So there as a lot of tension for sure. Only the wind direction created problems. Wind came from the northeast, and turned north far out on the Atlantic, so there was almost no chance to reach the south coast of England by crossing the Channel. Spanish pilot Suesena and American Flood had gone for this direction at the beginning, but then accepted that they would only scratch along the south coast, but not reach it. Spanish La Llave and Englishman Johnson had flown too much south for a channel crossing from the beginning.. After 130 to 200 km their flights ended in the most northerly part of France between Calais, Boulogne and the mouth of the Somme, where the English balloon ELSIE was completely destroyed at the landing by crashing into a train.

A lot farther went Ilari (ITA), Dunville (GBR), Bienaime (FRA), Bachmann (SUI), Spencer (GBR) and Labrousse (BEL). They stood in sight of the coast until they reached the Normandy. On this peninsula they tried to gather some more kilometres, until they were in front of the huge Atlantic in the area of Granville. The Italians Valle and Grassi had tried from the beginning on, to fly a heading as much south as possible. In the Bretagne they found out, that this would offer no more further distance to them, at least 550 or 598 kilometres were good for rank 3 and 4. Ernest Demuyter was still more resolutely. He kept his heading of SSW until he reached the south coast of the Bretagne, where he finally finished his flight in front of the sea at Quimper.

They all has preferred the safe landing on hard surface, and looking back, it proved, that any flying on was a big risk. French balloon GRAND CHARLES was fished out of the sea, Spanish ESPERTO came too close to the chimney of a steamer when trying to land on the ship and burned. Ward T. van Orman had lots of luck. At Brest he had flown out to the sea, in the second night he discovered the Dutch steamer VATERLAND below him. With a flashlight he signalled his emergency and around midnight he managed a safe landing on the deck of the ship. He left the basket with dry feet and continued his journey on the VATERLAND. This was an excellent performance, but according to the rules it had to lead to disqualification. (See remarks to the race of 1908).

Alexander Veenstra and Philippe Quersin wanted to win it in this year. In the year before they had flown to the last rank in 33 hours. Their ambition was to prove to the world and their fellow citizens that Ernest Demuyter was not the only excellent pilot in Belgium. His victories had made ballooning popular, now young and ambitious men had joined, who emulated him. For 47 hours Veenstra and Quersin stood in the basket of the PRINCE LEOPOLD, most of the time above the Bay of Biscay. They had flown far out to the sea until the wind turned more north. They prayed for Spain to come, this country was the last opportunity for a safe landing ahead of the insurmountable expanse of the Atlantic.

Dear reader, have a look at a good map of Spain and try to find Cabo Torinana on it. It is about 80 km west southwest of the town of La Coruna, or more simple, if you look to the extreme north western part of this peninsula. South of Cabo Torinana is Cabo Finisterre, and in England a quite similar point is called "Landsend". Exactly that is it! The two pilots hit this little tip, right on the steep cliffs they reached the ground. To the south, west and north nothing more than the wide sea. This place was not suitable to pack the balloon. So Quersin left the basket, to carry the inflated balloon more towards the land. He might have thought, that enough gas had been released to leave without danger. The disaster feared by all balloonists now happened: The balloon is caught by a gust of wind, rips off, climbs due to the lack of weight to a high altitude, only to return in a quick fall, without sufficient ballast left, to the ground, which means the ocean here. Veenstra was now alone in the basket, the ballast was used up in the 47-hours flight. Feeling safe on the ground after an almost eternal flight over the Biscay just a moment ago, he was now back over the sea with even worse chances. There was only one possibility to survive, to climb from the basket to the load-ring. He knew, the basket would immerse, but its weight would reduce the fall, so the envelope, net and load-ring would be kept away from diving in for some time. For 6 1/2 hours Veenstra stood in this situation, then he was discovered by the Spanish steamer FERNANDO-CARDONA and taken on board.

According to the rules, this was a correct landing, for they had touched hard surface first. With 1380 kilometres, twice as much as Demuyter, they were declared to be the winners. Belgium had won the race for the fourth time in a series, but this time the winners name was Alexander Veenstra, not Ernest Demuyter. We will meet Veenstra in another two races (in total he participated in seven races), but he could not repeat his success.

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