2011 LUXGSM - World Balloon Trophy

The first flight took place in the afternoon of 28th with JDG and HWZ at the 2011 LUXGSM - World Balloon Trophy. The ANG was also expected to be flown but it was cancelled as the pilots had to wait a long time for the unstable atmosphere to disappear from the flight area. The results for these tasks are already on the results web page.

This morning 29 July, the sky was covered with fog and mist. However, 5 tasks (FIN, PDG, LRN, FON and ANG) could be flown - some of them will be scored to the physical markers and some others will be scored with flight trucks. Launch period was extended till 9 AM. All the tasks could be flown in any order and all the tasks had to be finished by 10:30.

At the target, the sound of the burners could be heard but it was impossible to see the balloons themselves because of the mist! Very slowly many pilots arrived at the target. Stefan Zeberli, last year's Champion, was very patient at the target to approach. It seemed that he passed away but he read the wind to go back and to come back to the target, and his result was 0.36 meters!

Around the landing time the fog and mist were gone and the pilots landed safely.

Increase in international participation at the 4th International Meeting of Disabled Pilots

No less than 40 disabled pilots gathered from 17 to 24 July at the Aérodrome de la Gruyère on the occasion of the 4th International Meeting of Disabled Pilots, also called Handiflight, a project which was awarded the “FAI Honorary Group Diploma” in 2010, and which was initiated by Sarah and Daniel Ramseier back in 2007.

Coming from all around the world (New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada, USA, Sweden, Scotland, England, Belgium, France, Germany Poland and Italy), the pilots shared their experiences and received instruction in glider and power flights.

Personalities such as Brian Jones, Honorary President of the event and co-pilot of Bertrand Piccard in the first non-stop balloon flight around the world, Yves "Jetman" Rossi, famous Swiss aviation pioneer, and Stéphane Desprez, FAI Secretary General, attended the event.

On Friday, a workshop was organised with the participation of Stéphane Desprez, FAI Secretary General, with the aim of discussing the internationalisation of the movement through Handiflight. The outcome of the meeting was very positive, as all participants from the the different international associations of disabled pilots are eager to share their passion, and would be favourable to a rapprochement with the FAI.

“I have met exceptional people here who all stand out by their strong will. Aviation is for them not only a passion but also an activity that has given them renewed hope, and I think that we have a lot to learn from them”, said Stéphane.

More pictures on the FAI Flickr account.

80th Birthday of Dr Jerry Gregorek a Space Models Pioneer

Dr GERALD MICHAEL GREGOREK (U.S.A), much better known as JERRY, one of the real pioneers in space modelling shall celebrate soon his 80th birthday. During his 40 years career in space modelling Jerry was a NAC team member, NAC team manager and he holds many important positions at domestic and international level.


FAI Secretary General, Stéphane Desprez, to join the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme)

As stated in the FAI President’s letter of July 1, the FAI Secretary General, Stéphane DESPREZ, has resigned from his position and will be leaving the FAI on October 2011.

Stephane will join the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) as their new CEO in replacement of Guy Maître who is retiring. It’s a great opportunity for him, and we wish him all the best in his new assignment.

The FAI Executive Board has immediately started a recruitment process, and will screen applications during the month of August. The final decision is planned to be taken at the end of August during the FAI Executive Board meeting, if not before.

Asians go for Accuracy

The 1st FAI Asian Paragliding Accuracy Championships will take place in Yilan, Chinese Taipei from 12th to 18th June 2012. The test event will run from 1st to 3rd July 2011. Paragliding Accuracy has been expanding fast, especially in Asia, over recent years. FAI-sanctioned Category 2 events have been held in China, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand just over the past year.


The FAI to promote sustainable sport together with international motor sport federations

On Saturday June 4, in Barcelona, the FAI participated to a joint meeting with the International Motor Sport Federations FIM (Motorcycling), FIA (Automobile) and UIM (Powerboating). During this meeting hosted by FIM, the International Federations formed a Council with a combined initiative to promote sustainable sport. The purpose is to share knowledge and to develop joint environmental and alternative energy projects.


International Motor Sport Federations join forces

Today in Barcelona, Saturday June 4, the FAI participated to a joint meeting with the other International Motor Sport Federations FIM (motorcycle), FIA (automobile) and UIM (powerboating). During this meeting the International Motor Sport Federations formed a Council with a combined initiative to promote sustainable sport. The purpose is to share knowledge and to develop joint environmental and alternative energy projects.

Celebrating 50 years of Manned Spaceflight - Part 1: THE PIONEERS

Yuri Gagarin: first human being to journey into outer space It was 50 years ago that man first ventured into space. On April 12, 1961, Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth in Vostok 1 (Vostok 3KA-3) on a flight lasting 108 minutes and became the first human being to leave the confines of the Earth's atmosphere.

Celebrating 50 years of Manned Spaceflight - Part 2: APOLLO AND THE MOON

Richard Gordon and Charles ConradProject Gemini

At the conclusion of Project Mercury the United States had amassed only two days and six hours in space. It soon became evident that an intermediate step was needed before an attempt to go to the Moon could be made. Thus, Project Gemini was conceived. On December 7, 1961, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced a plan to extend the piloted spaceflight program by developing a two-person spacecraft.


Winners of the 2011 FAI Young Artists Contest

On the occasion of the recent FAI Aviation and Space Education Commission (CIEA) plenary meeting, the International Jury met to determine the winners of the 2011 FAI Young Artists Contest, whose theme was "50 Years of Human Space Flight". The theme of this year was tightly linked to the 50th anniversary of Gagarin's historic flight.


Canopy Piloting, Accuracy Landing and Indoor AeroMusicals at the next World Games

For the first time in its history, the FAI will have three sports present at the World Games. Both Canopy Piloting (Parachuting) and Accuracy Landing (Paragliding) feature in the competition programme of the 2013 World Games that will take place in Cali, Colombia. Indoor AeroMusicals (Aeromodelling) is included in the programme as a demonstration sport.


Celebrating 50 years of Manned Spaceflight - Part 5: HUMAN COST OF MANNED SPACEFLIGHT

The cost and risk of manned space flight has been high. The first confirmed in-flight fatality in the history of spaceflight occurred on April 24, 1967. Colonel Vladimir Komarov was killed when his Soyuz 1 spacecraft crashed during its return to Earth following parachute failure. The crew of Soyuz 11, Georgiy Dobrovolsky, Viktor Patsayev, Vladislav Volkov were killed on June 30, 1971, by exposure to the vacuum of space after undocking from the Salyut 1 space station. These are the only recorded fatalities in space (i.e. above the Karmann line).


Celebrating 50 years of Manned Spaceflight - Part 4: SPACE STATIONS

Space stations have been envisaged since at least 1869 when Everett Hale wrote about a 'brick moon'. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Hermann Oberth also published articles about manned spaceflight and space stations. In 1951, Wernher von Braun published his design for a wheeled space station. Salyut and Skylab (1971-1986)


Celebrating 50 years of Manned Spaceflight - Part 3: SPACE SHUTTLE

NASA's space shuttle fleet began setting records with its first launch on April 12, 1981 (exactly 20 years to the day after Gagarin’s flight !) and continues to set high marks of achievement and endurance. Starting with Columbia and continuing with Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour, the spacecraft has carried people into orbit repeatedly, launched, recovered and repaired satellites, conducted cutting-edge research and built the largest structure in space, the International Space Station.