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.


Glider Match Racing and General Aviation medal ceremony

23339528040 ff2e2c12e1_kThe winners of the General Aviation and Glider Match Racing stepped up for their medals yesterday (December 9), at a ceremony held at the Sky Dubai Palm Dropzone.

Polish glider pilot Sebastian Kawa claimed gold in the Glider Match Racing, after a thrilling final against Austrian Werner Amann. Tilo Holighaus of Germany took bronze.


Exciting finish to Glider Match Racing

23265500169 80a281f28b_kLong-standing rivals Sebastian Kawa from Poland and Austrian Werner Amann battled for gold over the desert sand dunes today (December 9) in the final of the Gliding Match Racing at the FAI World Air Games.

Both their Schempp-Hirth Discus 2C gliders were towed up over the Desert Dropzone and released from 1,200m side by side.


An unforgettable start to the FAI World Air Games

23133288149 527c88f702_zThe FAI World Air Games officially kicked off with a bang last night, as the 3,000-strong audience at the Opening Ceremony were wowed with an extravaganza of dancing, zip-line performances and fireworks.

Dropping in on the open-air stage, performers dressed as skydivers and paramotor pilots flew over the crowd suspended on wires, taking the astounded audience on a theatrical flight over glorious Dubai.


Ready for take off

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Good morning from Dubai, where the skies are clear and the temperature is warm – it’s a beautiful place to be in December.

Today, Tuesday December 1, 2015, we’ve got a whole host of athletes, competitors and pilots setting up and getting to grips with what is to come: two weeks of the best air sports event in the world. 


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