The 34th FAI World Gliding Championships in Australia ends on a high

Grid 2_croppedHard two-week battle in Australian skies sees three new FAI Gliding World Champions win gold.


34th FAI World Gliding Championships 2017 are declared open

Rick-Sheppe-FAI cropped_3The 34th FAI World Gliding Championships in Benalla (AUS) was officially opened on Sunday, 08 January 2017, by Jaclyn Symes MP, Member for Northern Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Minister for Sport, The Hon. John Eren MP and Rick Sheppe from the FAI (pictured).


Two years ago: Father and son set African Record

Gliding SchmelzerTwo years ago on this day, Tijl Schmelzer and his father Bert were the very first to pass the 200 km/h barrier using thermals rather than mountain waves.


Australia welcomes the world to the FAI World Gliding Championships 2017

34th FAI_WGCThe 34th FAI World Gliding Championships 2017 kicks-off in Australia on 9 January 2017, with two weeks of high profile, high calibre competition to follow.


German Holger Karow wins 7th FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Finale in South Africa!

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Until the last race it was very close at the top and any of the top five pilots still had a chance to win the contest.


7th FAI Sailplane Grand Prix Final kicked off in Potchefstroom (RSA)!

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The World Championship takes place from 05 to 12 November 2016 in Potchefstroom, Republic of South Africa (RSA).


125 Years of Flight Testing

Lilienthal OttoIt 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:

  • A wing provides the lifting force that allows sustained flight, and it is not necessary for a wing to flap in order to do this.
  • The lifting force depends directly on the area of the wing, the shape of the wing, and the angle at which the wing meets the air.
  • The retarding force depends on the same quantities.

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.

In celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Otto Lilienthal’s first manned flights, FAI Member DaeC has organised a fly-in event at Stölln-Rhinow airfield (EDOR), 3-5 August 2016.

Winners of the 2016 FAI Young Artists Contest Revealed

2016art2.2 KIM USAbigThe FAI international jury selected the winning paintings of the 2016 FAI Young Artists Contest, a competition which every year honours the best paintings from youngsters in three age categories from 7 to 16 years old.


USA Tops the Final Medal Table of the FAI World Air Games

FAI Medal - Small ImageThe United States has finished at the top of the medal table at the FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015, with 7 gold medals, 4 silver and 6 bronze. USA led a tight battle with France which just missed the top by 1 gold medal and takes second place with 6 gold, 10 silver, and 2 bronze medals. Russia came third with 6 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze.


First sailplane flight over Dubai



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.


Flying high: final FAI World Air Games medals awarded

airshow-end-wagsTwelve sets of medals were awarded at the Closing Ceremony of the FAI World Air Games in Dubai, as the sun set on the two-week event celebrating air sports from around the world.


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