Russian veteran traveler Fedor Konyukhov, 64, landed safe and sound near the small town of Bonnie Rock on 23 July at 16.15 local time (08.15 UTC) after a 11 day 8 hours and 42 minutes flight in a Roziere combined (hybrid) hot-air and helium gas balloon challenging the 2002 performance of aviation legend Steve Fossett (320 hours 33 minutes). Now, they are both the only pilots to have completed the solo circumnavigation.
On Tuesday, 12 July at 07:30 Local Time (00:30 UTC), Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov, 65, took off in a hot-air balloon in Northam, Western Australia, in a bid to beat the record time for a solo flight around the world. This has only been achieved once before by no other than the late American aviator legend Steve Fossett, who also took off from Northam Airfield in 2002 and is still a current FAI World Record. Konyukhov and his team have been preparing for the challenge for close to a year. He is confident that the balloon’s new technology will help him to break the standing record. He is hoping to fly 33,000km in 13 days or less.
Today we would like to commemorate a female American pioneer and a major figure in aviation who was not only a highly successful Golden Age air racer and holder of various aviation records, but also one of the first female pilots to make aviation her business. On 12 July 1936, exactly 80 years ago, Mrs. Louise Thaden set a FAI World Record in Female Light Plane “Speed over 100km” by reaching a speed of 176,356 km/h (109.582 mp/h) in a 90-horsepower Porterfield at Endless Caverns, Virginia (USA).
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Ten years ago Toomas Mardna set a world record for aeromodelling that still stands today: a 111km out-and-return flight with a piston-motor seaplane, flying along the banks of Lake Maardu in Estonia.
If you want to bag a distance world record in aeromodelling it can help if you get up early, when the wind is calm and the sky is clear.
For Toomas Mardna exactly ten years ago on Friday 17 June 2006, 'early' meant a pre-dawn start. Together with co-pilot Juri Laidna the pair were aiming to set a world record out-and-return flight with a model Mardna had designed and built himself.
Mardna was well-known in Estonia and the international aeromodelling scene. A member of the Estonian Aerosports Federation his FAI Sporting Licence number was EST0002 – he was in at the very beginning.
On 12 May 2011, biology student and female pilot Judith Wexler flew the human-powered helicopter “Gamera I” for 4.2 seconds in College Park, MD (USA), thus setting the first ever FAI world record in this type of aircraft.
Helicopter pilot Thomas Morgenstern has finished in bronze medal position in the FAI World Air Games Parallel Slalom and Fender competition here in Dubai. The final to decide the gold and silver medallists will take place tomorrow (December 10).
But when former Olympic gold medal winner Morgenstern, flying here with his teammate Stefan Seer, crashed during a ski jump at the start of 2014, it looked like his career as a professional athlete was over.
Seven steps to success: an acrobatic paragliding masterclass with FAI World Air Games winner Tim Alongi
French paraglider Tim Alongi, 24, is the new FAI World Air Games Paragliding Aerobatics Champion.
Alongi also won the silver medal in the Sychronised Paragliding Aerobatics competition, along with his partner - and solo silver medallist - Eliot Nochez, also from France.
When we caught up with Alongi afterwards at the Palm Dropzone in Dubai, he gave us his seven top tips for acro paragliding success.
Even among the large crowds at the FAI World Air Games, it's hard to miss Quentin Smith. The flamboyant British helicopter pilot wears a Union Jack jacket, and has been flying, he says, since the age of five.
Since then his flying achievements include helicoptering around the world. The 51 year old has recently completed an expedition to all three North Poles; magnetic north, true north, and the pole inaccessibility, which is the furthest point from land.
You'd be forgiven for thinking 15-year-old Janejira Chuynoey is here to support a family member in the paramotoring competition.
At just 53kg, the petite Thai girl looks like she can barely lift the 30kg Polini Thor paramotor next to her. But when its time to gear up for the start, the smiley school girl's eyes narrow into competitive focus as she pulls on her helmet.
Chuynoey, or Gege to her friends, may be the youngest competitor at the FAI World Air Games in Dubai, but don't be fooled by her playful smile, sparkly mobile phone or cutely coiffed ponytail. She's here to win.
Nicole Schmidt from Germany, has been flying paragliders for 11 years. For the last six she's been performing aerobatic tricks, or "acro". It's a discipline very few women attempt, and this year Schmidt, 35, won the female World Championship.
We found out what it takes to be the only female acro pilot jumping out of the helicopter here at the FAI World Air Games.
Parachutist Cornelia Mihai punched the air after coming into land from her first jump in the skydiving swooping, or canopy piloting, competition in Dubai.
And well she might - the only female skydiver in the competition, she managed to travel a distance of well over 130m after pulling off a featherlight touch down in the swooping pool. "I'm happy with it," she said of her performance. "It's not bad for the first round."
Record-breaking, trans-Pacific hot air balloon pilot Troy Bradley was in the crowd cheering on the competitors in the Aeromodelling final at the Dubai Mall last night, December 1. "This is all new to me," he said. "I'm enjoying it very much."
Together with his Two Eagles Balloon Team partner Leonid Tiukhtyaev, Bradley shattered the long-standing distance and duration world records by flying from Saga in Japan to Mexico in January this year.