The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI/World Air Sports Federation) completed its 117th General Conference, attended by representatives from more than 35 countries, last week.
Hosted by the National Aeronautical Association (NAA), the 117th conference took place in Dayton, Ohio, marking the first time in 40 years for it to be in the U.S. Activities included committee meetings, awards banquet, special drone event, and visit to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
“From aviation’s earliest days, FAI has taken a leading role in supporting and promoting the art, sport, and science of aviation,” said former NAA president and CEO Greg Principato. “As a founding member of FAI, the National Aeronautic Association is proud to welcome FAI, for the first time, to the ‘Birthplace of Aviation’: Dayton, Ohio. The Wright brothers themselves played key roles in both organizations, so it is natural that the aviation world should reconvene in Dayton.”
Among the awards highlighted at the conference was the inaugural FAI Aeromodeling Commission (CIAM) Legends Medal, which recognizes “pilots who have won the title of FAI world champion in any aeromodeling or spacemodeling competition at least three times.” For its first year, 59 recipients were identified by FAI from its records of almost 800 world championships dating to 1951. Over a dozen medals were presented at the event.
Also awarded at the conference was the Louis Bleriot medal for “the highest records for speed, altitude, and distance in a straight line established in the previous year by light aircraft.” This year’s medal went to Germany’s Klaus Ohlmann who, on April 20, 2022, set a world record for fastest speed in a powered airplane over a closed circuit of 500 kilometers. Ohlmann, 71, averaged 207.65 kph (112.12 knots) on the course in the electric e-Genius, an aircraft developed by the University of Stuttgart’s Institute of Aircraft Design.
The FAI General Conference is open to the organization’s delegates, designated representatives of international affiliate members, FAI-elected officers, presidents of honor, honorary patrons, designated representatives of corporate patrons, companions of honor, and delegates appointed by presidents of commissions.
The next conference is set for November 20-21, 2024, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.