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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 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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Sports and Disciplines Selected for the FAI World Air Games ....

Sports and Disciplines Selected for the FAI World Air Games ....

The FAI has today announced the list of the 11 sports and 24 disciplines selected for the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015. More than 1000 athletes, crews and officials will be involved in the multi air....

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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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until 31 May 2015 2015 Nordic Championship HG Herning (Denmark)
until 30 May 2015 2015 Uppsala Masters Sundbro (Sweden)
until 31 May 2015 2015 SkyTribe XC Clopotiva (Romania)
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

22 May 2015 Microlights and paramotors : Altitude : 3'132 m Matthew Smith (AUS)
18 May 2015 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a Commercial Airline Route : 770 km/h David E. Gurney (USA)
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)
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15th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett - Antwerp (BEL) 1926

Start: Antwerp, May 30th 1926         

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

This year not Solbosch at Bruxelles, but Antwerp was selected as launch place. This town is not more distant from the sea, but that's something which cannot be a topic for discussion in Belgium. More surprising is the early date, the end of May. Also in the two years before, the Belgians had put the date to June, but all the other races had been held in autumn. There are mainly meteorological reasons for this, there is less tendency for heavy thunderstorms in autumn. Besides this, only the moon's phase has an influence on the date. Because the balloons fly through the night after the launch, it should be a full moon for better navigation. So we can be sure, that on May 30th 1926 the moon was shining, but the weather must have been quite awful. Already at inflation during the night from 29th to 30th of May there was pouring rain and a sharp wind. On the day of the launch at 4 p.m. the hydrogen balloon LILIPUT of only 170 cu m should fly ahead of the field with the French balloon pilot Charles Dollfus as a special attraction, but it was cancelled due to the weather. All the balloons launched completely soaked and had to be levelled out very light. After a few minutes they were out of sight for the spectators. This weather of course had influence on the results.

If such an experienced Gordon Bennett pilot like Maurice Bienaime, having already done 8 races, lands after 102 km, on the other side Ernest Demuyter covers 438 km in 4 hours (average speed about 88 km/h), it shows, that the flight was not a lazy one. So only a few competitors had the courage (or better: high-spirits?), to fly to the unknown and probably find themselves moving over the North Sea towards the Arctic next morning.

Already before launch failures happened. French balloons VIELLE TIGES and ANJOU were so severely damaged, that they had to be deflated. American Maxson was thrown overboard at the first try to land, his pilot Boettner flew on for a short distance, before he finally managed to bring to balloon to the ground. From rank 5 downwards, all pilots seem to have taken the first suitable field for landing.

Of no other Gordon Bennett Race there are such a few records as of the one in 1926. Also other collectors and experts of Gordon Bennett Races, living today, have discovered little. Not even the accurate duration of the three best balloons is known. The hours figured in the list of results seem to be rounded up or down. Probably the pilots did not have the time to record their exact landing time at a fast landing. The list of results seems "to be sewn in a great hurry". A pilot with the name "Capilari" is mentioned, who had never seen before and will never be seen again later. No pilot had ever heard from him. This mystery is solved by comparing some lists: Italian lieutenant Ilari, already flown in 1924 and 1925, had been promoted to Captain of cavalry thus becoming a Cap.Ilari. Belgian pilots Matton and Charmant appear on the lists without any nationality and the total entry of 18 balloons can only be read from the schedule of events. Our list of results therefore was completed with this information.

The race was won by the Americans Ward T. van Orman/Walter W. Morton, the same Van Orman, who managed the landing on the steamer VATERLAND the year before, after he had flown out to the Atlantic near Brest. The landing this year he performed at Sölvesborg, on the south coast of Sweden. With this he began a series of American victories which lasted for seven years and did almost again lead to a final end of the races. Second rank was achieved by his fellow -citizens Captain Gray/Johnson, who found their way back to earth in Mecklenburgia. Ernest Demuyter finished at Cuxhaven and last years winner Veenstra with his co-pilot Quersin found their landing-filed in East-Frisia.

There were other big performances recorded in the newspapers of these days: On May 9th the Americans Richard Evelyn Byrd and Floyd Bennet (with only one "t" and no relative to our James) managed the first human flight over the North Pole with a three engine Fokker from Spitzbergen in 15 1/2 hours. Roald Amundsen and Italian general Umberto Nobile followed only three days later with the airship NORGE. And another news, considering speed: On May 24th Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi sets up a new world record over 3000 meters in 8:24,4 minutes.

It was not in the newspapers that two days after the launch of the Gordon Bennett Race Marilyn Monroe was born. No one could have a presumed what this baby would become. But we see, we are approaching present times, for the glamorous days of Marilyn Monroe are not so far behind.

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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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Find out more about the FAI Anti-Doping Programme.

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