4 August 1985: Larry Tudor, the “Part Bird”, who Flew a Record of a 4’343 Meters Gain in Altitude with a Hang Glider
Today marks the 30th anniversary of an FAI Word Record made by an American pilot described as both “Part Bird” and “Skygod” and who is perhaps one of the finest Hang Glider pilot for tandem or solo flights: Larry Tudor. A fidgety Californian, he has been pushing the edges of how far hang gliders can go since the air sport's early days in the 1970s. During his long career, Tudor set a total of ten FAI World Records and the one we are commemorating today has not yet been broken.
Five years ago today, Swiss pilot André Borschberg landed the zero-fuel aircraft Solar Impulse HB-SIA after a 26h 10m 19s flight from and to Payerne, Switzerland. A normal duration for a jet, but an absolutely incredible performance for a plane using only the power of the sun!
With an outstanding pilot in paramotoring, we would like to carry on with the series of FAI World Record anniversaries: Ten years ago on 23 June 2005, the three Russian pilots Vladimir Makurin, Nikolay Karabchouk and Alexander Bogdanov each broke an FAI World Record with a project named “Troika Air”.
Balloon World Record not broken since
We are pleased to continue our series of world record celebrations with an exceptional woman in ballooning sports: British Lindsay Muir. She established a female category duration world record for balloons in class AX-10 (Hot-air balloons: 4.000 to 6.000 m³) for a flight of 19h 07min 55sec on 21 May 2000 with the balloon “Lindstrand LBL-210 A” (G-FVBF).
On 18 March 1965, FAI celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first space-walk. Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov achieved this feat during the Voshkod 2 mission. He stayed out in space for 12 min 9 sec, a performance that the FAI recognised as a world record in the “Extravehicular duration in space”. Born on 30 May 1934, he still lives in Russia.
Today is a special day in the history of space exploration. It is the day, 50 years ago, that Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov became the first person to walk in space.
With whom else than Steve Fossett could we open our series of world record celebrations? From 1995 to 2007, the FAI ratified 93 of his performances, which makes him the holder of the largest number of world records. These figures are unequalled, and they are all the more impressive given that they are linked to achievements in four different air sports, namely Ballooning, Airships, Gliding and General Aviation.
Frenchman Pierre Duval, 50, is the new President of the FAI Environmental Commission (EnvC) since his election by the Delegates during the last annual meeting of the Commission in February 2013. He tells us about his position, his aims, his objectives and the challenges the EnvC is and will be facing.
Tony Iberler qualified as an Helicopter Pilot in Germany on his 17th birthday, one year before he can legally drive a car.
In 2012, still aged 17, he was selected as a member of the German National Team participating in the 14th FAI World Helicopter Championship, Moscow. The youngest ever pilot to participate at that high level. He won second place in his class.
At the 2012 FAI Awards Ceremony held yesterday in Antalya, Turkey, John Dickenson was presented with the FAI Gold Air Medal by FAI President John Grubbström for his great contribution to the development of aeronautics by inventing the modern hang glider.
The FAI Gold Air Medal is the one of the two most prestigious FAI Awards together with the Gold Space Medal. It is reserved for those who have contributed greatly to the development of aeronautics by their activities, work, achievements, initiative or devotion to the cause of Aviation.
Although Maxim Sotnikov learned to fly helicopters only 6 years ago, he is already one of the world’s best pilots and will be one to watch at the 14th FAI World Helicopter Championship that will take place at Drakino Airfield, Russia, from 22 to 26 August 2012.
At 16 years old, Pál knew that paragliding was going to be more than just the next new hobby sport for him. Dedicating his time to flying from the day he left school, he and his young and talented Hungarian friends virtually taught themselves how to fly aerobatic manoeuvres. His first competition, just two years later in 2005, meeting the international stars of the sport, gave him tremendous motivation to continue. In 2007 he won the Aerobatics Paragliding World Cup Series, and climbed to the top of the FAI World Pilot Ranking Scheme (WPRS) for PG Aerobatics.