Air sports – WVHGC http://wvhgc.org/ Sun, 28 Nov 2021 03:20:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://wvhgc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-10-120x120.png Air sports – WVHGC http://wvhgc.org/ 32 32 Highlights of the 115th FAI General Conference 2021 https://wvhgc.org/highlights-of-the-115th-fai-general-conference-2021/ Thu, 18 Nov 2021 08:38:30 +0000 https://wvhgc.org/highlights-of-the-115th-fai-general-conference-2021/ The 115th FAI Conference was held online from November 9-11, 2021, with a total of 137 attendees representing 50 FAI members. FAI general conferences are usually held in person, but due to the ongoing pandemic conditions affecting travel, the decision was made to hold the general conference online for the second year in a row. […]]]>

The 115th FAI Conference was held online from November 9-11, 2021, with a total of 137 attendees representing 50 FAI members.

FAI general conferences are usually held in person, but due to the ongoing pandemic conditions affecting travel, the decision was made to hold the general conference online for the second year in a row. The conference took place over three days with sessions lasting 2.5 to 3 hours per day. The full conference report is expected to be released in early 2022.

The annual FAI awards ceremony took place as usual during the conference. This year, the recipients of the medals and diplomas were announced via a video broadcast live on the FAI website and on social media on the evening of November 9. The video is still available online.

Highlights from the 115th FAI General Conference

  • The reports on 2020 finances and 2021 finances (year-to-date) have been well received and the 2022 budget has been approved.
  • Three new FAI member countries were welcomed: Georgia, Armenia and Bahrain.
  • The FAI Commissions reported on their recent activities, shared their experience in tackling issues arising from the pandemic and outlined new initiatives and areas of development as well as highlights of their sporting calendars for 2022 and beyond. .
  • The concept of updating codes of ethics and discipline initiated by the FAI General Air Sports Commission (CASI) has been approved for development and eventual integration from January 2023.
  • Recognition that Category 1 events that can be hosted in 2021 have seen good levels of participation and have been successful despite widespread travel restrictions due to Covid-19.
  • Future general conferences were discussed, with a decision on the 2022 GC due by May 2022, and the vote for the 2023 conference venue approved for Dayton, Ohio, United States.

FAI President David Monks thanked delegates for a “constructive and fruitful conference” and commented:

“This conference has shown us all that the FAI in 2021 has become a true collaboration in the management of our organization and it was a pleasure to see that our joint efforts resulted in what we have set for ourselves. We are all hoping for a return to a normal sporting calendar and the FAI is well prepared for 2022. “


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Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 FAI Awards https://wvhgc.org/congratulations-to-the-winners-of-the-2021-fai-awards/ https://wvhgc.org/congratulations-to-the-winners-of-the-2021-fai-awards/#respond Tue, 09 Nov 2021 20:56:22 +0000 https://wvhgc.org/congratulations-to-the-winners-of-the-2021-fai-awards/ The announcement of the 2021 FAI Awards took place on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. UTC in an online video that was broadcast live. In the video, which premiered on the FAI website, YouTube channel and Facebook page, a tribute was paid to the many individuals and groups who have performed exceptionally well, […]]]>

The announcement of the 2021 FAI Awards took place on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. UTC in an online video that was broadcast live.

In the video, which premiered on the FAI website, YouTube channel and Facebook page, a tribute was paid to the many individuals and groups who have performed exceptionally well, contributed to the development of aeronautics. and astronautics and created a lasting legacy through the promotion of air sports to new participants.

See the video

Manuel Roca Viaña of Spain is the recipient of this year’s FAI Silver Medal, awarded for his contribution to the promotion of international air sports competition through many years of distinguished service and dedicated leadership within of the RFAE (Royal Spanish Aeronautics Federation). He commented:

“This recognition is a great honor for me, and I will always wear it with the greatest enthusiasm. This award fills me with joy; it is a boost in morale that renews and encourages, both at the personal and institutional level, my enthusiasm and my wish to continue to bring ideas, knowledge and experience that can serve the interest of the international development of the aeronautics.

Lionel Adroit of France, winner of this year’s Henri Miguet Diploma for his amateur-built aircraft, the Handi-Montgolfière said:

“The Henri Miguet Diploma is for me an honor, one of the most important recognition that an amateur aircraft manufacturer can receive for the research, creation and construction of an aircraft.

Kimberly Magee of the United States, winner of the Ballooning Balloon Diploma for Best Ballooning Performance, shared the following statement:

“It is an honor to be recognized by a Montgolfier diploma. I am grateful to be one of eight American women pilots to win the world’s greatest hot air balloon honor. I hope my adventures in breaking six world records and nine national records at 28 will allow other young female pilots to embark on similar challenges, to push to new heights never reached before.

Montgolfier Balloon Diploma Laureate, Kimberly Magee

FAI President David Monks congratulated this year’s winners:

“Our 2021 laureates have made it their mission to share the pleasure of flying with others, either by pushing the limits of their sport, or by contributing to the promotion and development of aeronautics or astronautics.

At FAI, one of our most important roles is to recognize these exceptional performances and the exceptional efforts of individuals and groups, who are all a part of the history, present and future of aviation. .

Congratulations to all of the winners tonight and thank you all for sharing your dedication and passion with the world. “

2021 FAI AWARD WINNERS

FAI Silver Medal
Manuel ROCA VIAÑA (Spain)

Honorary Diplomas from the FAI Group

  • Sport Aviation Federation (Australia)
  • Aeroklub Jaroměř (Czech Republic)
  • Aero Club Ćuprija (Serbia)
  • Department of Aeronautical and Aeronautical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong, China)

FAI Diploma Paul Tissandier

  • Miguel Angel TERZO from Argentina
  • Ruth WILSON from Australia
  • Graeme HENDERSON from Australia
  • Bernhard REIF from Austria
  • Jacques BERLO from Belgium
  • Dan COOK from Canada
  • Eugenio MARTINEZ from Chile
  • Jiří UNZEITIG from Czech Republic
  • Miloš RAMERT from Czech Republic
  • Kimmo PAULARANTA from Finland
  • Christian RAVEL from France
  • Joachim LENK from Germany
  • Vasilis KATINIOTIS from Greece
  • Paul GIANNIOTIS from Hong Kong, China
  • Sushil BAJPAI from India
  • Pietro FILIPPINI from Italy
  • Flavio TEBALDI from Italy
  • Daiju KOHGA from Japan
  • Kyung Yong CHOI from Korea
  • Moon Tae KIM from Korea
  • Alan BEARD from New Zealand
  • Ian BEGBIE from New Zealand
  • Alexandre BESSONOV from Russia
  • Anatolii ULANOV from Russia
  • Vladimir MITIN from Russia
  • Nikola BOROVAC from Serbia
  • Bengt STENER from Sweden
  • Henry LINDHOLM from Sweden
  • Pekka HAVBRANDT from Sweden
  • Charles BACHMANN from Switzerland
  • Bruno SCHERRER from Switzerland
  • Daniela SCHMITTER from Switzerland
  • Matthew BOLSHAW from UK
  • Peggy RIEDINGER from USA

FAI awards for individual disciplines

Balloon Balloon Diplomas:
Best balloon performance: Krysztof ZAPART (Poland) and Andy CAYTON (USA)
Best Hot Air Balloon Performance: Kimberly MAGEE (USA)

Lilienthal Gliding Medal
Eric MOZER (United States)

Leonardo da Vinci Parachuting Diploma
Rina GALLO (Canada)

FAI Parachuting Gold Medal
Julia ANGELOVA (Bulgaria)

FAI Gold Medal in Model Aircraft
Bogdan WIERZBA (Poland)

Alphonse Pénaud Aeromodelling Diploma
Matthew HOYLAND (United Kingdom)

Antonov Aeromodelling Diploma
Karl-Heinz HELLING (Germany)

Frank Ehling Diploma
Mike COLLING (Sweden)

Ann Welch’s diplomas
Paramotor – Krzysztof ROMICKI and Wojciech STRZYZAKOWSKI (Poland)
ULM – Colin FARGHER and Louis FARGHER (France)

FAI Rotorcraft Gold Medal
David MONKS (United Kingdom)

Leon Biancotto aerobatic diploma
Alan CASSIDY (United Kingdom)

Henri Mignet Diploma
Lionel ADROIT (France)

More information


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Air Sports Equipment Market by 2028 Growth Rate, Sales, Production – Otterbein 360 https://wvhgc.org/air-sports-equipment-market-by-2028-growth-rate-sales-production-otterbein-360/ https://wvhgc.org/air-sports-equipment-market-by-2028-growth-rate-sales-production-otterbein-360/#respond Wed, 13 Oct 2021 06:28:50 +0000 https://wvhgc.org/air-sports-equipment-market-by-2028-growth-rate-sales-production-otterbein-360/ The Air Sports Equipment Market Size Report also shows the Solicitation and Procurement Figures, Compensation, Establishment, Import / Passage of Use in the Same Way as Future Executives, Volume of business, clean edges, mechanical developments, costs and rate of progress. Air sports equipment market worth $ 23.4 billion by 2027 TCCA 6.7% Main key players […]]]>

The Air Sports Equipment Market Size Report also shows the Solicitation and Procurement Figures, Compensation, Establishment, Import / Passage of Use in the Same Way as Future Executives, Volume of business, clean edges, mechanical developments, costs and rate of progress.

Air sports equipment market worth $ 23.4 billion by 2027 TCCA 6.7%

Main key players presented in this report: Flyneo.com, Velocity Sports Equipment, Ozone power, Aerodyne Research, SUP’AIR

Request an exclusive copy of this market report at
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The Global Air Sports Equipment Market Development Report also conveys chronic data from 2015 to 2021 and assessed data from 2021 to 2027, close to market SWOT assessment data. This report merges information by type, application, region, and creator or producer.

The Covid 19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the activities of the Air Sports Equipment market. The impact of the available pandemic has been dangerous and has influenced practice in all areas. This caused the market interest to decrease, the raw material shortage, the backlog and the store network.

Air Sports Equipment Market, By Segmentation:

Market segment by type, covers
Container / Harness
Protective equipment
Others

The market segment by application can be divided into
Parachuting
Paragliding
Hang gliding
Others

Get up to 30% discount on this premium report
https://www.infinitybusinessinsights.com/ask_for_discount.php?id=465930

The regional review of the Air Sports Equipment market covers: North America (also United States, Canada) Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Chile and others) Western Europe (Germany, United Kingdom United, France, Spain, Italy, Nordic countries, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg), Eastern Europe (Poland and Russia), Asia-Pacific (China, India, Japan, ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand) , Middle East and Africa (GCC, Southern Africa and North Africa).

Faq:

1. What is the size of the air sports equipment market?
2. What is market progression?
3. Which application section had the most proposals in the Air Sports Equipment market?
4. Which district generated the most air sports equipment market?


Contact us:

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Brazilian Saga: 2 x 3 simultaneous ratified records. https://wvhgc.org/brazilian-saga-2-x-3-simultaneous-ratified-records/ https://wvhgc.org/brazilian-saga-2-x-3-simultaneous-ratified-records/#respond Fri, 01 Oct 2021 01:44:55 +0000 https://wvhgc.org/?p=35 In November 2020 FAI has ratified the following simultaneous Paragliding World records: Straight distance of 582 km and Free distance using up to 3 turn points of 587.5 km, performed on October 10, 2019, by three Brazilian pilots Marcelo Prieto (Enzo 3 / Ozone), Rafael de Moraes Barros (Evox / Niviuk), Rafael Monteiro Saladini (Enzo […]]]>

In November 2020 FAI has ratified the following simultaneous Paragliding World records: Straight distance of 582 km and Free distance using up to 3 turn points of 587.5 km, performed on October 10, 2019, by three Brazilian pilots Marcelo Prieto (Enzo 3 / Ozone), Rafael de Moraes Barros (Evox / Niviuk), Rafael Monteiro Saladini (Enzo 3 / Ozone). The launch was in  Tacima – Paraíba (Brazil). With these ratified records they beat Michael Sigel’s 2018 year record of 550,2 km of Free distance using up to 3 turn points and their own records set in 2016 for Straight distance of 564,3 km.

We have contacted the team to learn how come that Brazilian flatlands became a must-go place for straight distance world record-breaking in past decades. As only Rafael is fluent enough in English he had to be questioned on behalf of all three.

 

Sorry, we have not interviewed any of you in 2019 when you made a claim.  But better late then never. Please, tell us about that flight and its preparation

Our last and current straight distance world record of 582km (588km OLC), broken in 2019, is the tip of the iceberg of one of the most successful teamwork tales in paragliding history. It is one of the 24 world record broken by our team and ratified by FAI.

Before 2019 season, Marcelo Prieto, our master and leader, was feeling “too old” and threatening his oldest pupil (me!) to retire. I had to “grab him by force” and bring him to sertão for a “last dance”. Our team has suffered severe losses after our previous world record of 564km in 2016, with Donizete Lemos living abroad, Frank Brown busy with work and Samuel Nascimento and his wife giving birth to twins. We had to find another pilot to complete our formation – our “flying organism”. Rafael Barros is one of the best Brazilian pilots since 2019, taking part of major events, including the FAI World Championship in Macedônia. Marcelo and I invited him to join us for our world record attempts that year. As a top competition pilot without any team flying experience, he was submitted to our military philosophy and routine, learning as fast as he could, to be ready to contribute to our “flying organism” in “D day”.

  

October 10th 2019 – after ten training days, finally the “D day” has come. Our team took off around 6h30 am. After our previous world record of 564km in 2016, we decided to quit our “romantic” foot launching procedure and started a winch operation in front of the old take-off in Tacima.  As FAI is still considering foot launching and winch launching the same thing, we definitely decided to choose the easiest, safest and less energy demanding way of getting airborne. Former female world record holder Marcella Uchoa was also part of the team, but unfortunately she landed after mastering to fly together with us until the most difficult moment of the flight, the Lagoa Nova plateau, a tricky obstacle in the 100km mark.

 

After that, the landscape becomes Disneyland, and we had a fantastic average speed throughout the day, specially from 12pm until 3pm, reaching averages above 57km/h. In the end, after flying more than 11 hours, our average speed in the whole day was around 53km/h. The wind was strong enough to let us reach a top speed when jumping mountains and its venturis as fast as 108km/h. Cloud base was above average, reaching 2000m ASL as early as 10am, and 3000m ASL in the afternoon. Thermals in sertão are usually not so strong, except in lee sides or protected triggers, as the strong wind doesn’t let the heat accumulates so much, organising the cycles and releasing average thermals of 3m/s, with peaks of 6 or 8m/s. The tracklog and all its info are in the link below:

https://www.xcontest.org/2020/world/en/flights/detail:Saladini/10.10.2019/09:40

Our bets (Barros and winch), definitely paid off, but as Isaac Newton said once: “if we have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. Since 1996, our masters André Fleury, Marcelo Prieto and Frank Brown have been exploring the Brazilian sertão. Following the footsteps of the pioneers, a group of hang glider pilots who realised the potential of sertão in the early 90s, they were among the first paragliding pilots to explore the region.

André Fleury was the first one to consider taking-off as early as 7 am. Everyone, including Frank and Marcelo, would laugh at him. In 1999, he was the first to ever break a world record in Brazil, and since then, FAI ratified all 7 multi-place world records he broke in sertão. Marcelo Prieto and he are the founders of our team – they taught us almost everything we know about that place. All that knowledge pilots are taking for granted nowadays, like launching before 6 am, flying classic routes, facing strong wind foot launches, landing throughout sunset, flying for more than 11 hours, flying as a team and so on, is the knowledge that was developed by Fleury and our team. This article is to let the paragliding community and every pilot who come to fly in sertão understand how we reached such a high level in Cross Country flying, who were the pioneers and why sertão from an ugly duck became a protagonist.

Before Fleury’s vision, which expanded for more than 10 hours the “flyable window”, pilots would fly in sertão at most 8 to 9 hours. The place was definitely the ugly duck of the four famous regions for big flights in the world. Together with Texas’ desert, the Australian outback and South African savannah, all of them in the temperate zone with more than 14 hours of daylight, sertão was the only one close to the Equator with “only” around 12 hours of daylight. Record chasers would not even consider sertão as a good option. However, after so many years studying the paragliding big flights, I should say they were miscalculating, using an incomplete equation. One main big secret of sertão is the intensity of the sun, as the amount of energy delivered to the ground is far greater in the Equator than in temperate zone, allowing us to launch as early as dawn and land as late as dusk, flying even more hours than in any other region.

Since the 90s, our team has broken 24 world records (the last one from the list below is still under review to be ratified):

Our team is honoured to be the vanguard of Cross Country flying in the last 21 years. We are really stoked to see our work turn sertão into the most successful place for breaking paragliding world records in the world. Brazilian “sertanejos” are among the kindest and friendly human beings on planet Earth – they truly make you feel at home. When we first see them, our “urban western eyes” can only see the lack of material and ephemeral things. But when we get to know them and are invited to their homes, they open their world of simplicity, hospitality, care and love, which usually give us life lessons to face life from a different perspective.

 

You seem to make a special accent on winch launch. What is that about?

And talking about different perspectives, the winch opened a completely new reality for our exploration and for distance world record chasing. In my opinion, as a holder of the last two world records, 564km foot launching and 582km winch launching, FAI should better split them into two different types of records to avoid the extinction of the traditional foot launching in straight distance world record attempts. When we foot launch in extreme conditions to break a record, I assure we have several disadvantages in comparison with winch launching.

Several years ago the Swiss federation and Fly by Andy started an amazing project to break world records from the city of Caicó. They were the first ones in Brazil to adopt the winch as a strategy to increase safety and mitigate the risks. Swiss pilots could instantaneously avoid spending painful years as we did while learning how to foot launch safely. The winch was a perfect shortcut to let them be competitive since the very beginning. Their average speeds in the morning were impressive, and that pressure made us change our whole strategy and develop our own winch operation.

Speaking about the influence of foot and winch launch on straight distance records, first, I would like to mention an obvious difference between them that changes the whole identity of the sport. Foot launching is not only the natural traditional way of practising our sport, but it is also the basic identity of it. We are not planes or helicopters. We are not sailplanes to be self-powered or towed up. We are not powered aircraft. We are paragliders. We climb the atmosphere, only using nature. We cannot let that tradition to get extinguished. A winch is an artificial engine to bring flexibility and turn the whole process much more predictable. We can perfectly compare with surfing – paddle-in vs tow-in. It is exactly the same situation: tradition vs safety. The surfing community embraced completely the tow in the system, which is easier, flexible and predictable, however, they never let the paddle in tradition to be extinguished, as both world records are considered two completely different things. Paddle in world records are much harder and dangerous to be broken – surfers put them in another level. I would suggest FAI should do the same.

Other reasons to split them into two different world records is the winch unlimited flexibility to change the launch spot and chase conditions. We cannot move the mountain. With a winch, we can easily fabricate as many runaways as we want, wherever we want and chase the best conditions.

Foot launching can be completely unpredictable, chaotic and dangerous. We try to observe and understand the gusts and the lows, however when we pull our gliders to launch we can’t predict and be sure if whether or not a gust will catch us and blow us towards the lee. As a team, we try to launch as close as we can, however with strong gusts and the wind building up, sometimes some of us lose the day grounded at take off. With a winch, it works like a production line. It is only a matter of investing in several winches and put them to work. And of course, as we launch from flat ground, the operation is much safer as the wind is much weaker than in take-offs.

An operation based on foot launching starts much earlier. To keep ourselves within a certain safety margin we have to launch always before the wind builds up, which means get airborne just before the prediction of strong wind, that sometimes means as early as 5h15 am.

On the other hand, an operation based on winch launching can tolerate much stronger winds (+10km/h), and we can launch whenever conditions are better.

Foot launches are stressful and much more energy demanding. The fear involved affects our nights of sleep, our behaviour, our morning routine, and we relax only when we get airborne. Winch launches are comfortable and energy-efficient. We launch whenever we want and don’t get our energy drained by that overwhelming sensation of imminent danger.

We have record days with wind above 35km/h. When foot launching, we don’t have a chance and the day is gone. When winch launching we can still operate and go with the flow.

When foot launching, we have to soar the ridge for 10min to 40 min to get to cloud base. My foot-launched 572 km flight lasted 12 hours while 588km winch flight lasted 11 hours

When winch launching, in “3 to 5” minutes we disconnect with 1000m above the ground, which is higher than a typical morning cloud base of 700/800m. In my opinion, this argument is enough to separate them and bring fairness and fair play to the subject.

When foot launching, we only have one attempt and there is no time to come back to take-off and relaunch. When winch launching, we can adopt conservative procedures, like getting the first climb near the airport or a fast retrieve, to allow relaunch if needed.

 

Well, I see your concern. But such cases are to be discussed and decided by the CIVL Plenary.
In respect to your current ratified record do you want to mention those who helped you in your achievements?

However, what fascinates me the most is the whole journey involved that we’ve been through. Whether foot launching or winch launching, our achievements are amazing and I am really proud of them. Every single discovery and broken paradigm that led us to be here today writing this article for FAI about all of us. I have to thank so many people that were involved in this process.

From those anonymous pioneers that got forever forgotten and we will never know anything about them, to my masters André Fleury and Marcelo Prieto.

To my teammates Frank Brown, Donizete Lemos and Samuel Nascimento. To Sol Paragliders and Ary Carlos Pradi for sponsoring our team in crucial moments since the beginning. To  Dioclécio Rosendo, Fernando Brandalize, Francisco “Choque Loc” and Mariane Neme for the incredible ground support retrieving us for more than two decades.

To our families who have been dealing with our absence, our fears and our life risks. And to Ozone Paragliders for supplying me with the Enzo 3, the best wing I ever had in my whole career.

Thank you FAI for ratifying our world records, writing our names in paragliding history and turning our adventures in sertão well known throughout the world!

I would like to invite every pilot who loves cross country flying to come to the Brazilian sertão – it definitely should be lived and experienced.

 

Thank you, Rafael, for sharing your experience and your passion for free-flying with us. Good luck!

 


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Launch of Canada’s new spirit of collaboration and renewal of competitive ballooning https://wvhgc.org/launch-of-canadas-new-spirit-of-collaboration-and-renewal-of-competitive-ballooning/ Wed, 04 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://wvhgc.org/launch-of-canadas-new-spirit-of-collaboration-and-renewal-of-competitive-ballooning/ Article by Jonathan Perron-Clow, CIA PMR member – Canada COVID-19 pushes us towards a new collaboration As we all sat at home in the spring of 2020 with our favorite hot air balloon events canceled left and right, a few of us discussed the dream of bringing competitive hot air ballooning back to eastern Canada. […]]]>

Article by Jonathan Perron-Clow, CIA PMR member – Canada

COVID-19 pushes us towards a new collaboration

As we all sat at home in the spring of 2020 with our favorite hot air balloon events canceled left and right, a few of us discussed the dream of bringing competitive hot air ballooning back to eastern Canada.

The day after the cancellation of the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu International Balloon Festival in Quebec City, we concocted our plan. It would be an informal, low-tech activity without advertising, and we would make it as COVID-resistant as possible.

It was just one of many opportunities that Canadian aeronauts took advantage of during a difficult year for families, businesses and events at home and around the world. This led to a change of venue for the Canadian Hot Air Balloon Championships (HAB) and better relations with aeronauts across the country.

There had been no competitions in Eastern Canada for almost 20 years. This meant that any pilot in the regions of the country with the most balloon pilots had to cover more than 3,000 km to attend the semi-annual championship. And have any hope of representing Canada at a world championship.

2020 Canadian National Balloon Championships

For 2020, Canada’s HAB National Championship was scheduled to take place in August in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, USA, over 20 hours away for any Canadian balloonist. It was to be merged with the US National HAB Championship. With the border closed due to CV-19, the event seemed less likely over the months. Ultimately, both championships were canceled.

Instead, the Friendly 2020 (French for friendly) took shape in the Canadian aerostation capital: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, just south of Montreal, Quebec. Almost a third of all Canadian hot air balloon pilots in the country live in or near Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, the city that successfully hosted the FAI World Balloon Championship in 1991.

Competitor Jacob Benjamin throws a marker during the Amicale 2020.
The success of the event led Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to host the Canadian championship this year. Photo credit: Bertrand Tougas

The Friendly had great success with eight competitors completing ten tasks on four flights in early September 2020. Defending Canadian champion Jason Adams took the crown out of the seven rookies.

Canadian pilots rediscover events “at home”

A few weeks later, several young pilots from the East hit the road to discover the “distant” province of Alberta. Since they couldn’t attend their usual world events, the pilots found they had time to discover those in their own distant backyard.

Hot air balloon Canada
The valley of the Red Deer River that created space for Drumheller, Alberta, gives
awesome views which are, of course, best seen from a hot air balloon. Smoke from
the big forest fires in 2020 made the region look strange. Photo credit: PA Marcoux

Twice a year, the town of Drumheller Valley hosts the local Calgary Balloon Club for a fun flying weekend. Drumheller is located northeast of Calgary, Alberta. There is no competition, no X, no 3D spots, but the decor is totally unique.

Hot air balloon in Canada

The Drumheller Happening brings together aeronauts from across Alberta. In 2020,
Quebec pilots traveled 3,000 km to enjoy these views. This fall, it will host
the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Calgary Balloon Club. Photo credit: Sébastien Poupart.

The following weekend, the Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival was held in High River, Alberta. It was a great opportunity for the pilots who shared Facebook friendships to meet for the first time and build relationships, compare gear, share stories and most of all share the sky. This time there were two flights with the Hare & Hounds competition to keep the pilots sharp.

High River has become the new model of “how to develop hot air ballooning in Canada”. When the event began in 2013, City Councilor and Event President Jamie Kinghorn was the only pilot in town. As the event has grown (and has hosted the Canadian Championship four times), people come from further afield to fly and enjoy the incredible local hospitality. Pilots from UK, Belgium, Japan and USA enjoyed the event.

As of this writing, there are now six pilots at High River, and it is home to Canada’s first balloon port, a dedicated balloon launching space. We are used to seeing curious spectators expressing their interest in the hot air balloon. High River has done a great job giving these people the opportunity to become pilots and almost half of new pilots are women!

Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival

The launch field narrows as the first pilots take flight to the
Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival. High River is at the start
of the vast Canadian prairies and beside the foothills of the
Rocky Mountains, visible far back on the left. Photo credit: PA Marcoux

New pilot growth in 2020

As reported by another PMR committee member, Kim Magee’s Balloon Training Academy (US), 2020 has also been an exceptional year for training new pilots in Canada. At present, there are over 20 students or brand new pilots in the country. It may not seem like much, but if they all get their license it will mean an increase of almost 15% in the number of pilots in the country. And more are starting all the time.

Many of these new pilots consider fiesta style events, as well as competition events, to be great places to fly as a community. Following the success of last fall Friendly, the organizing team of the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu International Hot Air Balloon Festival was very enthusiastic about hosting competitions. They will host the 2021 HAB Canadian Championships from August 19 to 22. At the time of writing, there are 22 registered competitors. The majority have never competed and will learn as they go. Good luck to everyone.

While 2020 has been extremely difficult and tragic in many ways, Canadian aeronauts have made the most of it by connecting and reconnecting, supporting the next generation and getting excited about competing. More soon!

Heritage Inn Alberta International Balloon Festival

Balloons take off from the Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival
in sunny High River, Alberta. It was the only official balloon event
in Canada in 2020 and there were a lot of smiles under the masks of the participants.
Photo credit: Emma Lockyer


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Tribute to pilot Harriet Quimby, the 1st American female pilot https://wvhgc.org/tribute-to-pilot-harriet-quimby-the-1st-american-female-pilot/ https://wvhgc.org/tribute-to-pilot-harriet-quimby-the-1st-american-female-pilot/#respond Mon, 02 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://wvhgc.org/tribute-to-pilot-harriet-quimby-the-1st-american-female-pilot/ On August 2, 1911, the Aero Club of America granted an FAI pilot’s license to avid adventure journalist and screenwriter Harriet Quimby. It was the first license to be awarded to an American aviator. With a wealthy background and liberal upbringing among San Francisco artists and gypsies around the turn of the 20th century, Quimby […]]]>

On August 2, 1911, the Aero Club of America granted an FAI pilot’s license to avid adventure journalist and screenwriter Harriet Quimby. It was the first license to be awarded to an American aviator.

With a wealthy background and liberal upbringing among San Francisco artists and gypsies around the turn of the 20th century, Quimby evolved in circles in which women were allowed to go their own way. With a flair for writing and a love of travel, she moved to New York City and excelled in a position at Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly as a journalist and photographer.

Born with a natural passion for new technology, Quimby was one of the first journalists to embrace the use of a typewriter and even drove herself in a bright yellow car; it was inevitable that she would be captivated by the exciting advancements in aviation.

A meeting with the Moisant family allowed him to discover aviation. While covering the Belmont Air Meet in New York in 1910 as a reporter, she witnessed the thrilling sight of John Moisant flying around the Statue of Liberty and crossing the finish line in first place in his self-designed and built Moisant Biplane – the world’s first all-metal aircraft. John and his sister Matilde became close friends of Quimby, the two women learning to fly together in Hempstead, New York. After four months and 33 flying lessons, Quimby obtains license number 37 from the ACA and Matilde becomes the second woman to obtain the license.

This license to fly anywhere in the world gave him the opportunity for adventure, freedom and fun. Never one to blend in with the crowds, Quimby joined the Moisant International Aviators and began earning an income as a member of the show crew, beautifully decked out from head to toe in a purple satin outfit, with his pants tucked into their elegant lace. boots. She has written articles about her exciting experiences, traveling to the United States and Mexico as a pilot.

Yet his views extend even further. With the stories of a new generation of pioneering female aviators making headlines in Europe, Quimby decided in 1912 to take on a challenge that she hoped would help mark her place in history: a cross-Channel flight to England. -France, a feat which had been achieved by Louis Blériot for the first time only two years previously. Quimby would be the very first woman to attempt it. Traversing in thick fog, she meticulously followed the compass as shown by British pilot Gustav Hamel, landing safely at Hardelot, just 40 km south of her intended destination. This daring adventure was not to attract the media attention it deserved; unfortunately the event was overshadowed in the newspapers by the sinking of the Titanic two days earlier.

Known for her attention to safety precautions, Quimby was a very competent pilot who saw no reason for other women not to take advantage of flying. Quoted in Good Housekeeping, she commented:

“There is no sport that offers the same amount of excitement and fun, and in return requires so little muscle strength. It’s easier than walking, driving or getting around by car; easier than golf or tennis … Flying is a beautiful and dignified feminine sport … and there is no reason to be afraid as long as you are careful.

Yet those early days of aviation were fraught with danger, and many pioneers lost their lives in plane crashes. This is how Quimby tragically lost her life at the Harvard-Boston Aviation Meet just a few weeks after crossing the English Channel: flying with the son of the event organizer William Willard as a passenger in a Blériot monoplane, she lost control of the plane and the pair were thrown into the waters of Boston Harbor, watched in horror by 5,000 spectators.

A woman who embraced the new century and its innovations, Harriet Quimby is remembered as a courageous pilot and pioneer whose legacy continues to inspire those who follow her flight path.

“In my opinion, there is no reason why the plane should not open a successful business for women. I see no reason why they can’t make a nice income from transporting passengers between adjacent towns, why they can’t make some income from delivering packages, taking pictures from above, or taking photos from above. conducting flight schools.
– Harriet Quimby, 1st American female pilot

Images: George Grantham Bain Collection at the Library of Congress.


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“Young Guns” at the US National Junior Championship, Texas https://wvhgc.org/young-guns-at-the-us-national-junior-championship-texas/ Tue, 27 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://wvhgc.org/young-guns-at-the-us-national-junior-championship-texas/ In 1978, a partnership between Longview, Texas balloonist Dr. Bill Bussey, and the managers of the newly opened Longview Mall, launched “The Great Texas Balloon Race”. To some it may seem presumptuous that an event never before held is called ‘Grand’, but in its 44-year history, this annual gathering of aeronauts from all over the […]]]>

In 1978, a partnership between Longview, Texas balloonist Dr. Bill Bussey, and the managers of the newly opened Longview Mall, launched “The Great Texas Balloon Race”. To some it may seem presumptuous that an event never before held is called ‘Grand’, but in its 44-year history, this annual gathering of aeronauts from all over the United States has more than proven that The initial hyperbole was well placed. In 1985, less than a decade after its start, the event earned Longview a governorship proclamation as the “Balloon Capital of Texas.” In 2013, the 83rd Texas Legislature named the host of Gregg County “the ball racing capital of Texas.” Along the way, Bussey and the GTBR staged the first ‘balloon gleams’ now copied by virtually every hot air balloon event in the world.

From 2012 to 2015, the GTBR hosted the US BFA National Championship, and this year, working with the BFA on the basis of a proposal presented by Bussey in 2019, the GTBR hosted the first BFA Junior National Championships.

“Young Guns” was an idea Bussey first pioneered in 2019 with the goal of attracting the next generation of “young” and “new” pilots to competitive flying. Drivers for the Junior National Championships had to be 29 years of age or younger at the start of the event and meet other experience requirements. They would fly alongside the regular GTBR pilot group (including several world and national champions) but would be rated separately.

Seven young men answered the call, most of whom had a generational connection to sport. For example, Duncan Hernandez is the grandson of pilots Pat and Susan Harwell; Blake Aldridge (a hometown favorite) is the son of the longtime crew of Dr Bussey, Larry and Kathy Aldridge, and there was Joe Seymour, whose late father was a balloonist and Spencer Copas, son of Jerry and Kathy Copas.

As a precaution for the Covid-19 pandemic, all entries and events at the usual site of the event, the East Texas Regional Airport, have been canceled. Instead, the three competitive morning flights would be performed using targets spread throughout the city. Non-competitive flights and static exhibits were scheduled on Friday and Saturday nights as there would be no balloon lights or concerts.

Perhaps the most significant change in the organization of the event, certainly from an insider’s perspective, was the absence of longtime Balloonmeister, Jim Birk, who died in 2020. Sam Parks stepped in to help. fulfilling this role admirably as the event honored Birk’s memory with a banner championship.

Unlike the BFA Team National Championships, which took place a week earlier just 60 miles east of Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana, the GTBR would be blessed with dry, hot but flyable weather. Parks set up with a flight in 4 tasks. starting with a Fly In, a Gordon Bennett Memorial (with the scoring area adjacent to the FIN target), followed by a Waltz Hesitation and a Max Distance Double Drop.

Joe Seymour got off to a good start (sorry!) By perfectly separating the FIN target and the GBM scoring area (see cover photo) and took 1000 points in both tasks. He followed that up with 2nd place scores of 986 and 902 in tasks 3 and 4 to lead the field after day one with 3,888 points out of a possible 4,000 points.

After day one, Joe Seymour was the leader with 3,880 points, Spencer Copas was second with 2,713 points and Blake Aldridge third with 2,264 points.

Hometown favorite Blake Aldridge started off as a solid runner-up with 965 points on the fly, but faded away with scores of 584, 429 and 286 on subsequent tasks. Gordon Hall will win task 3 and Spencer Copas will win task 4.

On the second day, Parks called 3 more tasks, a Fly In, another Hesitation Waltz and a Fly on. The final two tasks on Days 1 and 2 were recorder scores but, again unlike previous Nationals, the GTBR and Jr. Nationals opted to use the older and proven Garmin Dakota 10 recorders and the BFA scoring rather than the new “Balloon Live” sensor / app which resulted in scoring delays for the team competition.

Blake Aldridge would duplicate Seymour’s effort on day one by winning tasks 5 and 6 but finished 4th on task 7. Daniel Sasser would win his only task with 1,000 points on task 7.

After day two, Seymour maintained their lead with 5,592 points as Aldridge jumped to second with 4,835 points and Copas fell to third place with 4,259 points.

Until now, the weather had been good for the competition with clear skies, a little haze but not enough to affect visibility, and directional winds with, as double national champion Pat Cannon said, “the left is going strong in the first hour “. Cannon would also note that flying over the city in 2021 was much more difficult than flying to the East Texas Regional Airport and the surrounding countryside which is the usual GTBR competition ground. The target areas were smaller, as were many landing zones available to pilots, usually north of the loop highway that circles the city to the north.

Despite the “ticketless events” policy, there was no shortage of spectators to cheer on the pilots. Once declared during the briefing, the target locations were released to the public via social media and local residents flocked to view the balloons, often causing traffic jams located a few blocks around the targets, making it difficult at times slow and difficult for pursuit teams who are used to being in front of their pilots to report weather and piloting observations to support them. It was different but still quite an exciting sight for those who turned out to be spectators who rarely fly over targets downwind of the usual festival site at the airport.

For the final day, Parks initially called three tasks, a Fly In, a Maximum Distance Double Drop (in the same target scoring area) and a Hesitation Waltz. However, there was concern about high wind speeds (15 to 20 knots) in the first 1000 to 1500 feet, which would cause surface winds to increase as the morning progressed and landings became imminent. Since this was also the last window of flight with shortened timelines for scoring and protests and rewards to follow, Parks canceled the final task and allowed downwind landings in the same field as the only target in the morning.

With a lead of 757 points and two innings, it was yet another battle between Seymour and Aldridge in second. 2033 points behind in third place, it would take a colossal failure from Seymour and Aldridge for Cameron Wall to reach the title, but stranger things have happened in the hot air balloon.

On target, Seymour found himself in traffic jams and feared he had lost the title. “[I[ set myself right to where I wanted to be but when I wanted to come down to approach the target and had two balloons right where I wanted to be, so had a choice of coming down a little early or come down right after I cross(ed) over the top of the one balloon that would be right below me. I made a slight hesitation on what I wanted to do and so I had to come down right after I pass(ed) over the top of the balloon which, in the end, was the wrong decision as I just about didn’t even make the field of the ‘X’ but I got as low as I could and caught the right wind to get a score on the ‘X’ but just missed on my max double drop and I thought in my mind I had lost the event.”

Meanwhile Cameron Wall made a valiant charge winning the Fly In task and taking 2nd place on the MXDD with a hefty 916 point. Down by 2,033 points going into the day he scored a whopping 1,916!

Cameron Wall watches his marker fall to win task 8.

Fourth place Duncan Hernandez also made a push to gain the podium, outscoring Wall with 973 points on the Fly In target and winning the MXDD.

Aldridge, despite having one of his three markers tangle in his crown line, had beaten Seymour on both tasks, taking 3rd place on each, but would it be enough? When the gunsmoke cleared it was a shockingly close result, but Joe Seymour claimed the BFA Junior National Championship by THREE points! Aldridge finished 2nd overall and Wall was third. Hernandez’ strong finish was not quite enough to put him on the podium.

US National Junior Championship & Young Guns
The ‘Young Guns’ 2021

Sunday, June 20th was also Father’s Day making this championship win an emotional one for Seymour: 

“It really never hit me till I came off the podium and seeing my mom crying and so I started to tear up [too]. My dad passed away about 5 years ago now, and I knew his only hot air balloon victory was on Father’s Day when I was little. Once I knew the result, I was happy but also sad not to be able to share the moment with him because he was the one who made me go up in a hot air balloon and [I] Thought I would always fly by his side and still have a fun little father / son competition [on the side], but I know he always flies next to me and watches me.

“This victory will always be special because our first two victories were on Father’s Day and we both received eagles as a trophy and [I] I couldn’t have had a better Father’s Day gift than knowing that it will always fly right next to me every time I take to the skies.

Article by Glen Moyer, editor of the Ballooning Journal in which this article first appeared. The event, also known as the Young Gun competition, is a subset of the Great Texas Balloon Race. Balloon photos by Joey Scarpinatto / Ballooning Journal, photo by Young Guns Glen Moyer.


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100 years since the FAI granted the pilot’s license to Bessie Coleman https://wvhgc.org/100-years-since-the-fai-granted-the-pilots-license-to-bessie-coleman/ https://wvhgc.org/100-years-since-the-fai-granted-the-pilots-license-to-bessie-coleman/#respond Tue, 15 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://wvhgc.org/100-years-since-the-fai-granted-the-pilots-license-to-bessie-coleman/ On June 15, 1921, the FAI granted a black aviator named Bessie Coleman her pilot’s license. Coleman – the tenth of thirteen children born in Waxahachie, Texas, to a family of African American and Native American descent – became the very first person of color to earn an official FAI pilot license. Inspired by the […]]]>

On June 15, 1921, the FAI granted a black aviator named Bessie Coleman her pilot’s license. Coleman – the tenth of thirteen children born in Waxahachie, Texas, to a family of African American and Native American descent – became the very first person of color to earn an official FAI pilot license. Inspired by the courage of European female aviators, this intrepid young woman made a journey from Chicago to France and into the history books, inspiring generations of future pilots.

While working as a manicurist in Chicago, Bessie Coleman received a visit from her brother whose taunts encouraged her to fly: John Coleman had served in France during World War I and had pointed out to Bessie that French women were so “liberated” that they could same fly airplanes.

There was some truth in his words: France was known worldwide for its aviation pioneers. Between 1910-11, the FAI granted its first ten pilot licenses to women; all were Europeans except Harriet Quimby, the world’s first licensed American pilot. Just a few years after courageous aviators like Raymonde de Laroche, Marthe Niel, Marie Marvingt and Hélène Dutieu established their flying careers, Bessie Coleman began applying to American flight schools to learn how to fly an airplane.

Not a single school would accept an African American woman.

To make her dream come true, Bessie’s only choice – suggested Robert Abbott, the black lawyer, publisher and founder of the African-American newspaper Chicago Defender – had to travel to France. She took French lessons, began saving and looking for sponsors (including Abbott), eventually booking a crossing from the United States to Europe aboard the SS Imperator in November 1920.

After enrolling at the Chaudron flight school at Le Crotoy in the Somme, Bessie learned to fly for seven months, courageously taking the helm of the notoriously unreliable Nieuport 564 biplane. After graduating from the FAI on June 15, 1921, Bessie underwent further training to hone her skills and give her the techniques needed to perform the acrobatic stunts that would become her signature moves.

Back in the United States, the Chicago Defender The newspaper continued to sponsor Bessie as her career as one of the famous “barnstormer” pilots took off. She embarks on an airshow tour in which she will dazzle spectators with her stunts: walking on the wings of the plane or parachuting from the plane while a co-pilot takes the controls. Popularly known as “Queen Bess” or “Brave Bessie”, she became a media sensation and gained huge success from all walks of life across the country.

Dedicated to fighting racism, Coleman spent her time between shows speaking to audiences across the United States to promote aviation for people of minority background. She categorically refused to perform in shows that banned African-American visitors or demanded segregation of the audience. She dreamed of founding a flight school for young black aviators, commenting:

“The air is the only place free from prejudice.”

Stuntmen in the barnstorming era were able to purchase old military planes such as the Curtiss JN-4 “Jennies” or the DeHavilands, which were built in large numbers to train pilots during WWI. The barnstormers drew the crowds with their aerial acrobatics, including wing walking, diving, loops and skydiving – dangerous stunts, especially in often poorly maintained and unreliable planes.

By February 1923, Bessie had saved enough to buy her own plane – a Jenny. It was on this plane that she had a nose dive after an engine stall, having broken her leg and ribs and spent three months in hospital. The plane was destroyed and it took two years before she started flying regularly, although her campaign and speech events continued to be well attended as she visited the southern states.

Bessie saved up again to buy another Jenny with a 90-horsepower OX-5 engine in 1926, en route for a test flight on April 30 with her mechanic William Wills. Ten minutes after the start of the flight, the plane entered a spin and at 610m, Bessie – who was not wearing a safety harness because she wanted to see a parachute landing point – was thrown from her seat and was died on impact with the ground. The plane, with Wills still strapped inside, fell from the sky and he was also killed. It was later discovered that a loose wrench that got stuck inside the control boxes had caused the crash.

Not even five years after gaining accreditation, the remains of the world’s first licensed black female pilot were placed in a coffin and draped in an American flag, and received a military escort of six uniformed porters, veterans of the 8th African-American Infantry overseas. More than 5,000 people attended his funeral. She was only 34 years old.

A courageous woman who is unafraid to pursue her own goals and defend civil rights, Bessie Coleman’s outstanding contribution to history has garnered many tributes over the years including books, coins , stamps and films as well as street names.

Profile of Bessie Coleman

Image credits: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution


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“A Friendlier World with Air Sports”: FAI Young Artists 2021 Contest Winners Announced https://wvhgc.org/a-friendlier-world-with-air-sports-fai-young-artists-2021-contest-winners-announced/ https://wvhgc.org/a-friendlier-world-with-air-sports-fai-young-artists-2021-contest-winners-announced/#respond Mon, 14 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://wvhgc.org/a-friendlier-world-with-air-sports-fai-young-artists-2021-contest-winners-announced/ The FAI is pleased to announce the winners of the FAI Young Artists Competition 2021. During the 35th anniversary edition of the competition, artists from Japan won first prize in the Junior and Intermediate categories, with the Seniors winner coming from the United States. The theme for 2021 was “A Friendlier World with Air Sports,” […]]]>

The FAI is pleased to announce the winners of the FAI Young Artists Competition 2021. During the 35th anniversary edition of the competition, artists from Japan won first prize in the Junior and Intermediate categories, with the Seniors winner coming from the United States.

The theme for 2021 was “A Friendlier World with Air Sports,” celebrating the friendships air sports forge with people around the world and of all ages. This global connection was reflected in the range of FAI member countries whose artists participated in the 2021 competition: Argentina, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States; fifteen countries in total.

The competition is open to young people aged 6 to 17. Notably in this year’s results, the Polish Milena Bak took second place in the Junior category, after a bronze medal in the 2020 competition.

All winners will receive FAI Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, as well as diplomas.

2021 winners

Junior category

  1. Haruto HIRAYAMA – JPN
  2. Milena BAK – POL
  3. Kako YAMAMOTO – JPN

Intermediate category

  1. Aoi IKEDA – JPN
  2. Anish UPADHYAYA – United States
  3. Daria PILYUGINA – RUS

Senior Category

  1. Amy LEE – United States
  2. Isabel CHANG – United States
  3. Wenxin SHI – CHN

The three age categories for the competition are:
Group I – Junior Category (Date of birth between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2014).
Group II – Intermediate category (Date of birth between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2010).
Group III – Senior Category (Date of birth between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2006).

Aoi IKEDA (JPN), winner in the intermediate category

Theme of the 2021 competition “A friendlier world with air sports”

When we think of aviation, our first thoughts go to heaven. We imagine what it would be like to hover in the air in a glider, float through the sky in a hot air balloon, or maybe even twist and loop through the clouds in an aerobatic plane. While being in the sky is glamorous, it’s only part of the adventure. Each journey begins in the field with a team of people working together to achieve something magical.

By working together, a group of avid aviation enthusiasts can accomplish what a single person never could. The friendships created during this process are one of the things that keep people coming back to air sports over and over again. Friends who meet to hang-glide share laughs on cliffs around the world. Hot air balloons enjoy meals with the chase vehicle crew after a flight through the countryside. Air shows, of course, offer it all. Everyone is invited to share the joy that sports aviation produces. Pilots love to talk about their planes, ground crews share the work it takes to keep everything safe and in top condition. Every plane is a conversation starter. Each gives people a chance to ask questions or share their own aviation stories. The chance to take a ride is irresistible for some, while others enjoy eating tasty food and watching the show above their heads. A single skydiver in the sky can hold the attention of hundreds of people below. Once the day’s adventure is over, participants and spectators leave with new friends, as well as stories to share between them and others.

Air sports bring people together and create friendships that connect people around the world and of all ages. Now it’s your turn to grab your favorite art supplies and create a poster that captures the friendlier world that comes from people meeting and sharing their love of sport aviation.


Haruto HIRAYAMA (JPN), winner in the Junior category

Top image: Amy LEE (USA), winner in the Senior category


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The world’s first space station launched 50 years ago today https://wvhgc.org/the-worlds-first-space-station-launched-50-years-ago-today/ https://wvhgc.org/the-worlds-first-space-station-launched-50-years-ago-today/#respond Mon, 19 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://wvhgc.org/the-worlds-first-space-station-launched-50-years-ago-today/ On April 19, 1971, 50 years ago, the world’s first space station – Salyut 1 – was launched. His first success for the Soviet Salyut program paved the way for the future of space exploration, allowing astronauts to spend long periods in space and conduct science experiments and make the observations that shaped the human […]]]>

On April 19, 1971, 50 years ago, the world’s first space station – Salyut 1 – was launched.

His first success for the Soviet Salyut program paved the way for the future of space exploration, allowing astronauts to spend long periods in space and conduct science experiments and make the observations that shaped the human history, as well as breaking many space records. , all ratified by the FAI.

About Salyut 1

Following the American success of the Apollo missions, the Salyut 1 space station program was born out of a Soviet desire to advance space exploration. It was launched two years before the American space station Skylab.

Launched atop a Proton Booster rocket, Salyut 1 was a 20-meter (66-foot) long vessel with several sections, three of which were pressurized and two accessible to cosmonauts. The space station consisted of a transfer compartment with a docking system to allow the internal transfer of the crew, a main compartment about 4 meters long with control posts, 20 portholes and areas colored to facilitate orientation in zero gravity, and the Orion 1 space observatory to perform ultraviolet spectroscopy. of stars. Scientific equipment also included an experimental vegetable garden.

After its launch and the failure of the docking of the Soyuz 10 spacecraft, the Soyuz 11 mission of June 1971 sent cosmonauts Georgy Dobrovolsky, Valdislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayez to test the station’s controls, study the geology of the surface Earth, meteorology, and snow and ice cover as well as observation of the atmosphere and outer space. All three cosmonauts successfully docked and spent 23 days on Salyut 1, but all three tragically lost their lives due to the loss of the cabin atmosphere on return to Earth due to an outage.

The design of Salyut 1 formed the basis of all Soviet space stations up to Salyut 7, whose mission was to carry out tests for the larger Mir station, launched in 1986. One of the greatest successes of the world Salyut’s program was Salyut 6, which had two docking stations and enabled the first triple link in space history. The success of this mission also brought new supplies of fuel and food to the cosmonauts on board, allowing longer stays in space and more records to be broken.

Salyut 1 set a precedent for space stations and contributed to the continuing history of human space exploration that continues to this day aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the international partnership program launched in 2000 and which has since hosted more than 240 astronauts from around the world.

Images courtesy of NASA
Header Image – Soyuz docking at Salyut 1;
NASA / David SF PortreeMir Hardware Heritage. NASA Reference Publication 1357 (March 1995)
International space station – artists concept


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