Rolex announced as FAI main sponsor

Rolex, the world's leading exclusive watch manufacturer, has announced that it has become the main sponsor of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the world air sports federation.

Founded in 1905, the FAI is the international governing body for all forms of sporting aviation, including ballooning, gliding, aerobatics and model aircraft flying.


Anniversary of the first spacewalk

leonov photo webOn 18th March 1965, Russian cosmonaut Alexei LEONOV (RUS) stepped out of the spacecraft Voskhod-2 to become the first person to walk in space. He spent a total of 12 minutes and 9 seconds outside of the vehicle attached by a tether, thereby gaining an FAI World Record for extravehicular (EV) duration in space.

Pilot Pavel BELYAYEV (RUS) and co-pilot Leonov launched at 07:00 GMT on 18th March 1965 from Baikonur cosmodrome in the former USSR. At 08:28:13 GMT Alexei Leonov initiated his spacewalk by decompressing the spacecraft airlock; at 08:34:51 he stepped out of the vehicle, returning at 08:47:00. Telemetering data shows that his heart rate rose to 143 beats/min and breathing rate to 31 breaths/min as he first left the inside of the spacecraft.

During the EV activity, Leonov was attached to the spacecraft by a tether measuring 5.35m in length. Cinematographic evidence was used in the post-flight analysis to show that, at times, the tether was taught, thereby recording the maximum distance the cosmonaut floated from the vehicle.

The flight lasted for 26 hours and two minutes, covering some 717,262km and reaching an altitude of 497.7km. The spacecraft returned safely to Earth, landing near Perm at 09:02 GMT on 19th March.

In a post flight report, Leonov stated "Leaving the spacecraft in outer space is quite possible and is no longer mysterious to man". 

leonov beliaev photo webLeonov and Belyayev before entering the spacecraft

This information and the images reproduced here are sourced from the official dossier submitted to FAI for world record homologation.

Recent World Record Claims and Competitions Update 01/09

World Records and Record Claims received recently by FAI include:

Claim number : 15235
Sub-class :D15 (15m Class Gliders)
Category: Feminine
Type of record : Speed over a triangular course of 300 km
Course/location : Omarama (New Zealand)
Performance : 161 km/h
Pilot : Jenny WILKINSON (New Zealand)
Glider : Schempp-Hirth Ventus 2 B
Date :01.01.2009
Current record : 153.8 km/h (06.12.2002 - Angelika MACHINEK, Germany)



International Rotorcraft Commission Meeting 2009

FAI's International Rotorcraft Commission (CIG) held its annual plenary meeting on 26-27 February in Lausanne.

Delegates convened in the Olympic Museum to discuss several issues, including; bids for future World Championships, details regarding competitors' participation in the World Air Games later this year in Turin (ITA) and the future direction of the Commission.


IGC Online Pilot Survey

IGC, FAI's Gliding Commission, is conducting a worldwide survey of glider pilots.

The survey aims to better understand the issues faced by glider pilots in different countries, assess the quality of experience enjoyed by members of the sport and map out the nature of the global soaring community.

IGC would like to hear about your experiences as a glider pilot and your views on soaring. Your responses will help in defining development strategies for the sport of Gliding.


International Parachuting Commission meeting 2009

The International Parachuting Commission (IPC) meeting took place on 27th January to 1st February 2009 in Västeras (SWE).


Red Bull Air Race 2009 season

The Red Bull Air Race World Championship has announced its 2009 schedule, following on from a highly successful series in 2008.

Red Bull pilots 2009Red Bull pilots 2009


40th Anniversary of Apollo 8 orbiting the moon

December 21 marks the 40th anniversary of Apollo 8 and its successful mission to orbit the moon. This flight paved the way for the first human landing on the moon by the astronauts of Apollo 11, on July 21 1969.


Season's Greetings

It is time to thank all of our FAI members, media representatives and readers of these newsletters who have helped us during the year to spread the FAI News and disseminate information about our events and activities in 2008.

We wish you health and happiness as this year comes to an end and we send you our Season's greetings as we look forward to another busy year in the world of air sports in 2009.



Recent World Record Claims and Competition Update 09/08

World Record Claims received recently by FAI include:

Claim number : 15051
Sub-class :F8 Open (Aeroplane, Electric motor S (rechargeable sources of current))
Category: F8: Autonomous Flight
Type of record : N°914: Duration
Course/location : California Valley, CA (USA)
Performance : 31 min 12 sec
Modelflyer : Gary B. FOGEL (USA)
Members : Lindsey CHEW (USA)
Date :03.05.2008
Previous record : no record set yet


FAI World Records - A Case Study

A major activity of the FAI is the homologation and registration of aeronautical and astronautical world records; each year the FAI Secretariat issues around 300 certificates to successful claimants. To date the FAI database of world records contains over 15,000 entries, the majority of which are available on the FAI website http://records.fai.org FAI notifies its members of new world records by issuing the details: Claim number : 15142 Sub-class :F1N (Indoor Glider) Category: F1: Free flight Type of record : N°118-d: Duration (ceiling over 30m)


FAI marks ten years in Lausanne

December 1st is the anniversary of the FAI Secretariat moving to Lausanne, Switzerland from its previous seat in Paris, France. The Secretariat moved in 1998 to its present home on Avenue Mon Repos, near to the centre of the city and has remained at the same address since.


CIMA (Microlight) Commission Meeting 2008

The FAI Commission Internationale de Micro-Aviation (CIMA) held its annual plenary meeting in Lausanne over the weekend of November 14/15. President Tomas BACKMAN (SWE) was re-elected to serve for another year.
Decisions taken during the meeting included the selection of athletes for the World Air Games 2009 in Turin and the creation of a female class in PF1 (footlaunched solo paramotors), giving female pilots the opportunity to set world records in their own class.


Recent World Record Claims and Competition Update 08-08

Recent FAI world record claims received by the FAI Secretariat and Category 1 Events update.WORLD RECORD CLAIMS received recently by FAI include: Claim number : 14936 Sub-class :RWL2 (Microlights : Weight-shift Control / Landplane / Flown with two persons) Type of record : Altitude Course/location : Kilimanjaro (TAN) Performance : 7395 m Pilot : Mark JACKSON (GBR) Crew : Eve JACKSON (GBR) Aircraft : P & M Quik GT 450 Date :19.01.2008 Previous record : 6 876 m (23.07.2007 - Jan BÈM, CZE) Claim number : 14998