FAI News 17/06

Santos-Dumont at Bagatelle, 12 November 1906

A Century of Sporting Achievements /
Un siècle de performances sportives /
Sporting and Recreational Aviation Conference /
CIVA Annual Meeting / CIMA Annual Meeting / New FAI Members /
FAI eSHOP : Reminder - Rappel /
New World Record Claims / Competition Update


On 12 November 1906, the Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont flew his aeroplane in Paris over a distance of 220 metres. Historians consider this flight to be the first sporting aviation performance to be recorded by the FAI.

Born in Brazil in 1873 to a railway engineer father, Alberto Santos Dumont moved to Paris at a time when the « Belle Epoque » was in full swing. On arrival in France, Santos-Dumont pursued his passion for automobiles and internal combustion engines. However, highly impressed by his first balloon ascent on 23 March 1898, his enthusiasm rapidly turned to aerial navigation. He first had a small gas balloon built of 113 m3, naming it « Brazil », and then proceeded to develop and build a series of other balloons and airships with which he made numerous flights, thereby acquiring considerable public renown.

Hearing of the Wright brothers’ exploits, Santos-Dumont then turned his talents to the construction of his first aeroplane, the « 14bis ». Having taken part in the first Coupe Gordon Bennett gas balloon race on 30 September 1906, he made several test flights on the « 14bis » before making his flight of 220 m in the Bagatelle Park in Paris, just over a year after the foundation of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), on 12 November 1906. This was a real triumph for Alberto Santos-Dumont.

A century later, historians consider this flight, which was duly recorded by official observers from the Aéro-Club de France, to be the first aviation sporting performance homologated by the FAI.

A team of volunteers is continuing to put on database details of all records flown during the early years of aviation, and the FAI now has easy access to some 15'000 world aviation and space records ratified in accordance with FAI rules.


Le 12 novembre 1906, le pilote Brésilien Alberto Santos-Dumont accomplit à Paris un vol historique de 220 mètres de distance, un vol que les historiens considèrent aujourd’hui comme la première performance sportive répertoriée par la FAI.

Santos-Dumont at Bagatelle, 12 November 1906Né en 1873 au Brésil d’un père ingénieur des chemins de fer, c’est à la « Belle Epoque » qu’Alberto Santos-Dumont s’établit à Paris. Dès son arrivée en France, Santos-Dumont se passionna pour les automobiles et les moteurs à explosion. Pourtant, impressionné par sa première ascension en ballon du 23 mars 1898, sa passion se porta rapidement sur la navigation aérienne. Il se fit d'abord construire un petit ballon à gaz de 113 m3 qu'il baptisa « Brazil », puis il entreprit le développement et la construction de nombreux ballons et dirigeables à bord desquels il effectua de nombreux vols qui le rendirent célèbre.

Motivé par les exploits des Frères Wright, Santos-Dumont consacra ensuite son talent à l’aviation naissante et entreprit la construction de son premier aéroplane, le « 14bis ». Après avoir pris part à la première Coupe Gordon Bennett le 30 septembre 1906, il effectua plusieurs vols d’essai sur le « 14bis » puis, à peine une année après la fondation de la Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), il réalisa le 12 novembre 1906 un vol de 220 mètres de distance dans le Parc de Bagatelle, à Paris; ce fut un véritable triomphe pour Alberto Santos-Dumont.

Un siècle plus tard, ce vol dûment contrôlé par des observateurs officiels de l’Aéro-Club de France est considéré par de nombreux historiens comme la première performance sportive enregistrée par la FAI.

Aujourd'hui, alors qu’une équipe de bénévoles continue à répertorier les records accomplis pendant les premières années de l’aviation, les bases de données de la FAI recèlent déjà près de 15'000 records du monde aéronautiques et astronautiques homologués selon les règlements de la FAI.


The Sporting and Recreational Aviation Conference will be organized by Europe Air Sports and EUROCONTROL on 1 December 2006 at the EUROCONTROL Headquarters, Brussels.

This fascinating and important conference is an opportunity to learn and discuss the essential developments on airspace for the future with particular emphasis on the needs and requirements of the sporting and recreational aviation community in Europe. Although the target audience is the individual who is at least familiar with the airspace issues for our community, all interested air sportsmen and women are welcome !

Registration is obligatory; please refer to the EUROCONTROL and/or Europe Air Sports websites for further information and registration.


The FAI Aerobatic Commission (CIVA) held its Annual Plenary Meeting from 3 to 5 November 2006 in Krakow (POL).

Competitions : See report at CIVA Homepage, as well as the FAI Sporting Calendar.

Elections : Mr Mike HEUER (USA) was re-elected CIVA President. The updated list of CIVA Officers and Delegates may be consulted at CIVA Homepage.

Next Plenary Meeting : Vilnius (LTU), 27 and 28 October 2007.


The FAI Microlight Commission (CIMA) held its Annual Plenary Meeting on 10 and 11 November 2006 in Lausanne (SUI).

Competitions : Refer to the FAI Sporting Calendar. For the first time, a World Microlight Championship will be held in China in 2007.

Elections : Mr Tomas BACKMAN (SWE) was re-elected CIMA President, Mr. Richard MEREDITH-HARDY (GBR) 1st Vice President and Mr. Keith NEGAL Secretary. Mr. Wolfgang LINTL was newly elected 2nd Vice President. The updated list of CIMA Officers and Delegates is available at CIMA Homepage.

Next Plenary Meeting : Lausanne (SUI), 16 and 17 November 2007.


We welcome the following new member countries to FAI :

- Armenia
- Mongolia
- Montenegro

Also we welcome the Asiania Parachuting Federation, which is now an International Affiliate Member of FAI.

In addition, Philippines and Thailand have up-graded from Associate to full Active membership, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chinese Taipei and Moldova are negotiating up-grades.


Reminder : Special offers available at FAI eSHOP.

Rappel : offres spéciales disponibles dans le FAI eSHOP.


Some of the new World Record Claims recently received by FAI :

Class R (Microlights) / Claim number : 14241
Sub-class : RPF2 (Paraglider Control / Foot-launched / Flown with two persons)
Type of record : Distance in a straight line without landing
Course/location : Barrax (ESP) - Malpartida de Plasencia (ESP)
Performance : 360.2 km
Pilot : Angel Javier CARRASCO PALACIOS (ESP)
Crew : Luis Alberto NAVARRO BECERRA
Powered Paraglider : Microlight type to be advised
Date : 13.10.2006
Current record : no record set yet

Class E (Rotorcraft) / Claim number : 14237
Sub-class : E-1c (Helicopters, take-off weight 1000 to 1750 kg)
Group 1 : piston engine, General Category
Type of record : Distance without landing
Course/location : Ceduna , SA (AUS) - Cunderdin, WA (AUS)
Performance : 1 555 km
Pilot : Claude MEUNIER (AUS)
Date: 19.10.2006
Current record : 1 439.94 km (14.09.2004 - Claude MEUNIER, AUS)

Class C (Aeroplanes) / Claims number : 14254 - 14258
Sub-class : C-1c (Landplanes, take-off weight 1000 to 1750 kg)
Group 1 : piston engine
Type of record : Speed over a recognised course
Pilot : Gerald RATZ (USA)
Aircraft : Cirrus SR22
Current records : no record set yet

Claim #14254
Course/location : Son Bonet, Mallorca (ESP) - Corfu (GRE)
Performance : 4 h 40 min
Date: 27.10.2006

Claim #14255
Course/location : Corfu (GRE) - Istanbul (TUR)
Performance : 3 h 18 min
Date: 27.10.2006

Claim #14256
Course/location : Istanbul (TUR) - Brindisi (ITA)
Performance : 4 h 20 min
Date: 29.10.2006

Claim #14257
Course/location : Brindisi (ITA) - Son Bonet, Mallorca (ESP)
Performance : 4 h 30 min
Date: 30.10.2006

Claim 14258
Course/location : Son Bonet, Mallorca (ESP) - Istanbul (TUR)
Performance : 8 h 10min
Date: 27.10.2006

The details shown above are provisional. When all the evidence required has been received and checked, the exact figures will be established and the record ratified (if appropriate).

For further information on World Records, please consult the latest news, including all claims pending ratification, at FAI World Records.

COMPETITION UPDATE (1st Category Events)

Coming soon :

18.-26.11.06 : 17th FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championship (JPN)