Friday, 26 August 2016 14:38
1926 - 2016
Gliding was more than a hobby for him - it was his passion. Fred Weinholtz was one of the most competent and engaged officials of gliding. On Sunday, 21st of August, he died at the age of 90.
Fred Weinholtz was born in the German town Genthin on the 3rd of June, 1926. His love for aviation awoke in his childhood: As a seven-year-old boy he committed himself to model flying, at the age of 14 he sat in a sailplane for the first time. With the onset of the Second World War, flying is not innocent anymore: Weinholtz had to join the army where he was trained in motor flight. While the air force does not make use of his skills towards the end of WW2, the infantry does. In the last days of the war the young man was taken into captivity by US troops. He escaped in 1946. His flight led him to Potsdam and finally to Herford where he became a teacher.
Weinholtz had not forgotten his enthusiasm for gliding at that time - however, the sport was still forbidden. When it's allowed again, the go-getting man rushes into his old passion. In 1950 the "Interessen Gemeinschaft Segelflug" (Herford Gliding Club) was founded in Herford. Later on it became the "Herforder Verein für Luftfahrt" (Herford Association for Aviation) and Weinholtz assumed the chairmanship of the club. In 1955 he began to teach his knowledge about gliding to club members.
From 1965 on the pilot, teacher and official held his office as the chairman of the gliding school of Oerlinghausen, a job he held for two decades. In the 1960's he tried to establish the club class as a new competitive class in gliding. Although the Gliding Commission initially disapproved of his efforts, he succeeded in doing so. Another landmark in those times: "Grundtheorie des modernen Streckenflugs", a book, written by Weinholtz, became an international bestseller for the theory of cross country flying.
In 1967 Weinholtz also joined the gliding commission of the DAeC. For nine years, beginning in 1973, he worked as its chairman. In this time, he attended five world championships. In 1981 he organized the FAI World Gliding Championships in Paderborn and acted as the Championship Director of this event.
Meanwhile, Weinholtz was not only into theory and practice of gliding - he also fought for political ideals. He put himself out for the women gliding movement and brought a women's class into life and organized the first competition in women gliding in Germany in Kassel-Calden. He as well committed himself heavily in negotiations with the ministry of transport to achieve special airspace regulations for the benefit of gliding.
In 1972, Fred Weinholtz entered international circles. In the beginning as a member of the FAI International Gliding Commission (IGC); six years later as its vice president; and from 1987 on as secretary of the IGC (after his resignation in 1997 Weinholtz was appointed the "honorary secretary"). He also remained politically active at the national level: When a parliamentarian group for aviation was brought to life in 1985, Weinholtz was one of its founders. The group became an important political voice for pilots and General Aviation.
Later on Weinholtz was involved in the traditional community of the "Alte Adler" (Old Eagles). In 2004 he moved up in the board; in 2009 he became an honorary member. He was also a committed volunteer for the "Deutsches Segelflugmuseum" (German Gliding Museum at the Wasserkuppe) and acted as a board member for many years.
The gliding enthusiast worked for the International Gliding Commission of FAI at a total of 14 world championships and European championships. Weinholtz, bearer of the Federal Cross of Merit and the Lilienthal medallion of the FAI, remained active for the issues of gliding until his death. The list of honors can still be continued.
Fred Weinholtz was known as a modest and likeable person. Former DAeC president Wolfgang Weinreich says about his friend: "He was a tremendously great companion who sacrificed himself for the sport of glider flying. We all, the whole glider flying community, are very sad about the loss of this wonderful and great Man."
Thursday, 04 August 2016 09:52
It is generally accepted that Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896) was the “father of gliding experiments.” We remember that during a period of about six years, he made over 2000 well-documented gliding flights, and that he died following a crash in 1896.
What is not as well known is that Lilienthal was a brilliant scientist and a revolutionary engineer. One hundred years after the first manned balloon flight, our understanding of mechanical flight had not advanced very much from the speculative art of Leonardo da Vinci.
It was Lilienthal’s life’s work to understand the mechanical principles that allowed birds to fly.
Through careful observation and experimentation, Lilienthal became convinced that:
These truths were first published in his book, Der Vogelflug als Grundlage der Fliegekunst (Birdflight as a Basis for Aviation). This comprehensive treatise, published in 1889, can be considered to be the first book on the subject of aerodynamics, and it included a chapter in which the author made a clear case that the future of aviation belonged to heavier-than-air flight.
With the principles of mechanical flight thus established, the obvious next step would be to discover the design parameters for a machine that would be capable of carrying a man.
Without any help from wind tunnels or computers, Lilienthal began construction of the first aircraft to be used specifically for the purpose of investigating the relationship between lift and drag.
That aircraft first flew on a spring day in 1891, and the rest is history.
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 14:52
The FAI Sailplane Grand Prix (SGP) would like to remind you that bids for the 8th series of National SGP events and a bids for the 8th World SGP final should be submitted by the 1st of June 2016.
All relevant information can be found HERE
The 8th series SGP National events will take place between the 1st of November 2016 and the end of September 2017.
The 8th SGP Final will take place between 1 November 2017 and 31May 2018.
For any further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, 28 April 2016 15:40
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 Breitling, our partner Red Bull Air Race, and much more!
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 19:05
Sunday 17 April 2016 will be the first race day of the second Sailplane Grand Prix 2016 in the beautiful valley of Cerdanya, nestled in the eastern Pyrenees. The Cerdanya valley has a remarkable micro climate providing consistent and exciting conditions for sailplane racing. At 3000ft above sea level it is one of the highest airfields in Europe and the 9000ft mountains on each side of the valley provide the pilots with potential for high speed racing.
The list of competing pilots contain several great names who are seriously competing for a coveted qualification for the FAI/SGP final to be held at Potchefstroom South Africa in November 2016.
If you compare previous results, the favourite to win has to be Christophe Ruch (France). Ruch was runner up in the last FAI/SGP in Varese Italy narrowly losing first place to his fellow countryman Maximilian Seis. His performance in the last few Europeans Championships show the depth of his ability, 3rd in 2015, 2nd in 2013 and the champion in 2011. Winning last year’s French FAI/SGP event and second place in the 2015 final is evidence of his understanding of the tactics for SGP racing and his commitment to reaching the top of this event.
There are at least two pilots who will make sure Ruch has to perform really well to take the top spot. Fellow countryman Louis Bouderlique and from Great Britain Mike Young are probably the two most likely to squeeze Ruch at the top.
Bouderlique has a very impressive record. He is current French National 15m Champion and winner of the 2013 European 15m Championships. Not having flown an SGP event since 2008 he will surely be a behind the curve tactically but will no doubt soon be in the groove of SGP flying and pushing for a first place.
Mike Young has not been as active in International contests in recent years but his 3rd place in the 18m World Gliding Championships in 2012 is testament to the depth of his experience and talent. Young, who has more recent experience in SGP events, took 4th place in the 2014 Spain SGP contest, and this experience may well give him a small edge.
Of the other pilots in the contest there are several who are capable of a surprise top place. Philippe de Pechy from France is a very experienced and competent pilot. Jorge Arias is the top Spanish pilot in the contest and will certainly be very competitive now that he has a competitive Ventus 2 sailplane. Fridolin Hauser from Switzerland is a very experienced mountain pilot who won a race day in the 2014 Spain SGP but is probably not as competitive as in the past. However, he will no doubt be there amongst the day results on some of the race days.
The races will be covered live using the excellent imaging of Silent Wings Studio and the local team will be working hard to bring you all the news and action as it happens.
SGP correspondent 11.04.2016
Tuesday, 01 March 2016 17:30
The IGC Plenary meeting took place in the city of Luxembourg on 26 – 27 February 2015. There were 35 countries represented. Members of the Plenum and their guests were welcomed by the Luxembourg Delegates, Carlo Lecuit and Arny Weber. Of special note was the attendance by the Delegate from China, Zhaofang Han.
We were honored by the presence of FAI President John Grubbstrom.
Monday, 04 January 2016 13:41
The International World Games Association (IWGA) announced the nomination of Polish pilot Sebastian Kawa as the Athlete of the Month for December 2015.
Kawa has just won the Gliding event of the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 and has been keeping himself at the top of Gliding competitions for more than a decade.
FAI congratulates him on this great news.
Tuesday, 29 December 2015 15:56
On 7 December 2015 an historic first flight of a sailplane over the skyline of Dubai was performed. The pilots were Klaus Ohlmann and Tilo Holighaus.
Here is Klaus's story of that flight.
After my presentation at the end of the Aeromedical congress, I paid a visit to our gliding friends in the Desert Drop Zone, where they were engaged in the "Gliding Match Race" event. Afterwards, we joined the German team for dinner in their hotel.
As part of the effort to demonstrate our sport in Dubai, Schempp-Hirth had brought a brand new Arcus M , the latest doubleseater of their glider production. Tilo Holighaus proposed to me the idea of making some VIP-Flights with the Arcus. It was his brother Ralf who innocently posed the question of whether the famous skyscrapers of Dubai could produce lift, with an onshore breeze from the Gulf.
Monday, 21 December 2015 20:28
From 1 to 12 December, the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015 celebrated air sports from around the world.
875 athletes from 55 countries competed in the biggest air sport event ever organised !