4th FAI World GP Gliding Championship: two days to go!

All the pilots are arrived in Wasserkuppe for the 4th FAI World GP Gliding Championship (FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Final) and we are just waiting for good soaring conditions to start flying. In July 2011 it is be exactly 100 years since the first glider flights were made here at the Wasserkuppe. In memory of these pioneers, IGC has organised the 4th FAI World GP Gliding Championship in this beautiful airport. The Wasserkuppe is considered the cradle of gliding, the first flights began in 1911, but interest grew in 1918, when the Treaty of Versailles limited the production and use of powered aircraft in Germany. In the mid-'20s the first meetings were organized with the aim of comparing the various technical solutions and in the 30s these gatherings started to have an international echo, until in 1937 was organized the first world championship. The true pioneer was Otto Lilienthal, however, that by the end of 1800 had made its first flight experiments. On August 9th 1896 a gust of wind broke his wing and he fell 17 feet high, breaking the spine. He died the next day saying: "Opfer müssen gebracht werden!" ("Sacrifices must be accepted!"). At the site of Wasserkuppe there is one of the finest museums dedicated to gliding, recently restored, with replicas of the first machines used by Lilienthal. The museum really worth a trip to Wasserkuppe. WasserkuppeWasserkuppe