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6th FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix Championship: Tight Battle to Start on Saturday in Italy

From 5 to 12 September 2015, twenty amongst the best gliding pilots in the world will battle out t...

59th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett: Victory for Swiss Team SUI 01 Frieden and Witprächtiger!

Swiss Team SUI 01 Kurt Frieden and Pascal Witprächtiger (left) won the 59th Coupe Aéronautique Gordo...

France Holds On to its FAI Aerobatic World Championships Titles - Rob Holland Freestyle World Champion for the Third Consecutive Time

France takes home all gold medals at the 28th FAI World Aerobatics Championships: general rankings, ...

59th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett – Preparations in Full Swing !

7 hours to go until the take-off of the FAI World Long Distance Gas Balloon Championship. The launch...

Follow the 59th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett online - Launch of the gas balloons on Friday !

The Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett, the FAI World Long Distance Gas Balloon Championship, is the ...

Event Website for the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015  Now Up....

Event Website for the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 Now Up....

FAI invites you to visit the new event website for the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015. Managed by the Emirates Aerosports Federation (EAF) as the host of the event, it offers quick and easy access to ....

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FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 - Bulletins Available for Dow....

FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 - Bulletins Available for Dow....

The following bulletins for the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 are now online:                    ....

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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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4 August 1985: Larry Tudor, the “Part Bird”,  who Flew a Record of....

4 August 1985: Larry Tudor, the “Part Bird”, who Flew a Record of....

Today marks the 30th anniversary of an FAI Word Record made by an American pilot described as both “Part Bird” and “Skygod” and who is perhaps one of the finest Hang Glider pilot for tandem ....

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8 July 2010: Borschberg Breaks  the First Solar-Powered Aeroplane Reco....

8 July 2010: Borschberg Breaks the First Solar-Powered Aeroplane Reco....

Five years ago today, Swiss pilot André Borschberg landed the zero-fuel aircraft Solar Impulse HB-SIA after a 26h 10m 19s flight from and to Payerne, Switzerland. A normal duration for a jet, but an ....

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23 June 2005: The Paramotoring Journey  of Alexander Bogdanov through ....

23 June 2005: The Paramotoring Journey of Alexander Bogdanov through ....

With an outstanding pilot in paramotoring, we would like to carry on with the series of FAI World Record anniversaries: Ten years ago on 23 June 2005, the three Russian pilots Vladimir Makurin, Nikola....

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21 May 2000: The Story of Lindsay Muir's Hot Air Balloon World Record

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 celebrations with an exceptional woman in ballooning sports: British Lindsay Muir. She established a fema....

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Interview with Alexey Leonov, the First Man to Walk in Outer Space

Interview with Alexey Leonov, the First Man to Walk in Outer Space

On 18 March 1965, FAI celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first space-walk. Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov achieved this feat during the Voshkod 2 mission. He stayed out in space for 12 min 9 sec,....

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Current Events

until 06 September 2015 2015 Paragliding World Cup Ager (Spain)
until 07 September 2015 2015 ASIANIA "EMAX" video competition Location to be advised (To be advised)
until 04 September 2015 59th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett Pau (France)
until 05 September 2015 2015 Russia Cup (final) Pyatigorsk (Russia)
until 05 September 2015 2015 Russia HG Open Cup Pyatigorsk (Russia)
until 05 September 2015 2015 Pico do Gavião International HG Open Andradas (Brazil)
until 06 September 2015 2015 Serial Cup Nova Gorica (Slovenia)
until 05 September 2015 2015 Dinosaur Cliff Ridge (USA)

Upcoming Events

03 September 2015 2015 MAI Cup Memory P.Grushin - Category F2 - Control Line Circular Flight Khimki (Russia)
03 September 2015 2015 Kopaonik Raska Open, 6.round Serbian league Kopaonik (Serbia)
04 September 2015 2015 Greek League (PG) Agrinio (Greece)
04 September 2015 2015 Korea Open HG Championship Hadong (Korea)
05 September 2015 6th FAI World Sailplane Grand Prix Championship Calcinate Del Pesce (Italy)
05 September 2015 2nd International Pannonia Cup - Category F5 - Radio Controlled Electric Powered Flight Oberpullendorf (Austria)
05 September 2015 3rd MB Cup F3B - Category F3 - Radio Controlled Flight Mlada Boleslav (Czech Rep.)
05 September 2015 2015 Cro Cup Zapresic - Category F1 - Free Flight Krbava (Croatia)
05 September 2015 2015 Cup of Mongolia - Category F1 - Free Flight Susdal (Russia)
05 September 2015 2015 Spielberg - Red Bull Air Race World Championship Spielberg (Austria)
05 September 2015 2015 Vrsac Open, 4.round Serbian ACC league Vrsac (Serbia)
06 September 2015 2015 Mura Cup of Slovenia - Category F1 - Free Flight Krbava (Croatia)
06 September 2015 2015 Copa Brasil de Parapente Andradas (Brazil)
06 September 2015 17th ASIANIA Parachuting Championships and China International Open 2015 Taiyuan (China (People's Republic of))
06 September 2015 2015 Hasan Dagi XC open - Paragliding Cross Country Competition Aksaray (Turkey)
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Latest FAI World Record Claims

29 August 2015 Aeromodelling and Spacemodelling : Race Time in Competition (100 laps): 136 : 3 min 11,3 sec
24 August 2015 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a closed circuit of 5 000 km without payload : 293,77 km/h Raymond Pearson (AUS)
24 August 2015 Rotorcraft : Speed over a recognised course : 110,00 km/h Paul Salmon (USA)
23 August 2015 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a closed circuit of 500 km without payload : 493,74 km/h Gunar Armin Holboth (BRA)
22 August 2015 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a 3 km course : 521,08 km Gunar Armin Holboth (BRA)
22 August 2015 Powered Aeroplanes : Time to climb to a height of 3 000 m : 2 min 26 sec Gúnar Armin Halboth (BRA)
22 August 2015 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a closed circuit of 100 km without payload : 490,14 km/h Gunar Armin Holboth (BRA)
21 August 2015 Powered Aeroplanes : Speed over a 15 km course : 511,19 km/h Gunar Armin Holboth (BRA)
18 August 2015 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Distance over a triangular course : 208.00 km Konrad Albert Lapierre Heilmann (BRA)
18 August 2015 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Speed over a triangular course of 200 km : 36,00 km/h Konrad Albert Lapierre Heilmann (BRA)
15 August 2015 Aeromodelling and Spacemodelling : Duration (ceiling less than 8 m): 125-a : 22 min 50 sec Yuan Kang Lee (USA)
14 August 2015 Aeromodelling and Spacemodelling : Distance in a closed circuit: 153 : 76,5 km Vladimir Kiselev (RUS)
12 August 2015 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Distance over a triangular course : 257,2 km Alexander Robé (AUT)
12 August 2015 Hang Gliding and Paragliding : Distance over a triangular course : 257,2 km Alexander Robé (AUT)
11 August 2015 Rotorcraft : Speed over a recognised course : 5,3 km/h Norman Frank Surplus (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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