French aeromodeller Adrien Gallet, 18, wins 2022 CIAM scholarship
The 2022 Aeromodelling Scholarship has been awarded to French pilot Adrien Gallet, who is 18 years old. Adrien specialises in F3K (RC Hand Launch Gliders) and F5J (RC Electric Powered Thermal Duration Gliders) and enjoys building his own models which he optimises for best performance:
“I love to use my hands to build airplanes because it’s the goal of a lot of thought and ideas. It’s gratifying to fly my own model, which I try to optimise for the best performance, testing different versions.”
This scientific approach, with an appreciation for design, building, evaluation and correction, has led Adrien along his career path so far. He is studying maths and physics and intends to study engineering in the future, with a view to focusing on aeronautics. His hope is that aeromodelling will remain a part of both his personal and professional life; the scholarship will enable him to invest in a Laser CO2 and milling CNC.
“I like to learn new things in order to build better models, so I will learn to use the software for these machines.”
But it is not only the technical side of the sport that appeals to Adrien, it is also the sheer joy of flight:
“Aeromodelling allowed me to learn, discover and appreciate the universe of birds.”
Like many young aeromodellers, Adrien’s father, and grandfather before him, participated in the sport. Adrien has the full support of his family - whom he thanks for helping him balance study and competitions - and is keen to spread the thrills and technical challenges to the younger generation in a fun way just as he himself was drawn to aeromodelling from an early age. As a very young child, Adrien used to follow his father into the workshop, picking up tools and parts and generally getting on his dad’s nerves!
“When I was three years old, my father put a transmitter into my hand and he wasn’t able to get it back any more!”
Fast forward 15 years and Adrien’s obsession borne from his family’s hobby has given him an impressive string of titles to his name. Competing since 2013, with an Xplorer 2 that he renovated himself, he has gained French Junior Champion six times in the F5J class, and twice in F3K. As a Senior, he won French Champion in 2018 and 2020 and vice national champion in F3K and F5J. Aside from the national championships, Adrien has participated in Eurotours and World Cup competitions in Junior and Senior categories, working his way up to 2nd place for the national team F3K senior in 2022.
Participating in competitions has allowed him to travel and make new friends whilst opening his eyes to other cultures. At the FAI F5J European Championship for Electric Powered Thermal Duration Gliders in Szeged, Hungary from 21-27 August 2022, Adrien will proudly be representing his country as part of the French team.
“It’s an honour, the European championship isn’t an easy contest because it’s very long, but I will try to do my best. I’m also happy because my little brother who is 11 years old will fly in the junior category, and I will coach him. And that’s very cool. We prepare our models together, we train together and we will fly together.”
Clearly Adrien is motivated to share his enthusiasm with others and he has some exciting ideas on how to promote aeromodelling to young people:
“I would like to go on local field around my city to talk with young pilots. Even go into schools, to share our passion with the young people and their parents (because without the agreement of the parents children can’t discover their next passion!). I would like share my love for flying and building models, as well as competing. It’s very important for children to have fun, without fun we can’t keep kids interested!"
FAI congratulates Adrien on his award and wishes him every success in Szeged and into the future.
About the scholarship
Every year, FAI Aeromodelling Commission CIAM awards pilots aged between 16 and 21 years old a scholarship of €2500 as well as a Spirit of Flight Diploma.
The process is organised so that FAI Members (NACs) send their nominations (one per Member) to FAI. The nominations are then evaluated by a group of education experts before being approved by the CIAM Plenary.