Fédération Aéronautique Internationale

The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) is the world governing body for air sports and aeronautics and astronautics world records. This includes man-carrying vehicles from balloons to spacecraft, and unmanned vehicles (such as model aircraft and UAVs). It was founded in 1905.

Activities

The FAI is the international governing body for the following activities:
* Aerobatics through the FAI Aerobatics Commission ("Commission Internationale de Voltige Aerienne" - CIVA) [http://www.fai.org/aerobatics Official CIVA website] ]
* Aeromodelling through the FAI Aeromodelling Commission ("Commission Internationale d'Aero-Modelisme" -CIAM) [http://www.fai.org/aeromodelling Official CIAM website] ]
* Astronautic Records through the FAI Astronautic Records Commission ("International Astronautic Records Commission - ICARE) [http://www.fai.org/astronautics/ Official ICARE website] ]
* Ballooning through the FAI Ballooning Commission ("Commission Internationale de l'Aérostation - CIA) [http://www.fai.org/ballooning/ Official CIA website] ]
* General aviation through the FAI General Aviation Commission ("General Aviation Commission - GAC) [http://www.fai.org/general_aviation/ Official GAC website] ]
* Gliding through the FAI Gliding Commission ("International Gliding Commission - IGC) [http://www.fai.org/gliding/ Official IGC website] ]
* Hang gliding & Paragliding through the FAI Hang Gliding & Paragliding Commission ("Commission Internationale de Vol Libre - CIVL) [http://www.fai.org/hang_gliding/ Official CIVL website] ]
* Microlighting through the FAI Microlight Commission ("Commission Internationale de Microaviation - CIMA) [http://www.fai.org/microlight/ Official CIMA website] ]
* Parachuting through the FAI Parachuting Commission ("International Parachuting Commission - IPC ) [http://www.fai.org/parachuting/ Official IPC website] ]
* Rotorcraft through FAI Rotorcraft Commission ("Commission Internationale de giraviation - CIG) [http://www.fai.org/rotorcraft/ Official CIG website] ]

The FAI establishes the standards for records in the activities. Where these are air sports, the FAI also oversees international competitions at world and continental levels, and also organizes the World Air Games and FAI World Grand Prix.

Records

Among the FAI's responsibilities are the verification of record-breaking flights. For a flight to be registered as a "World Record," it has to comply with the FAI's strict rules, which include a proviso that the record must exceed the previous record by a certain percentage. Since the late 1930s, military aircraft have dominated some classes of record for powered aircraft such as speed, distance, payload, and height, though other classes are regularly claimed by civilians.

Some records are claimed by countries as their own, even though their achievements fail to meet FAI standards. These claims are not typically granted the status of official records. For example, Yuri Gagarin earned recognition for the first manned spaceflight, despite failing to meet FAI requirements. The FAI initially did not recognize the achievement because he did not land in his Vostok spacecraft, but later it recognized that Gagarin was the first human to fly into space. The FAI then established "The Yuri A. Gagarin Gold Medal", which has been awarded since 1968. [http://www.fai.org/awards/award.asp?id=9]

Classes

The following types of craft have records:
* Class A Free Balloons
* Class B Airships
* Class C Aeroplanes
* Class D Gliders & Motorgliders
* Class E Rotorcraft
* Class F Model Aircraft
* Class G Parachuting
* Class H Vertical Take-off and Landing Aeroplanes
* Class I Manpowered aircraft
* Class K Spacecraft
* Class M Tilt-Wing/Tilt Engine Aircraft
* Class N Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) Aeroplanes
* Class O Hang Gliding & Paragliding
* Class P Aerospacecraft
* Class R Microlight
* Class S Space Models
* Class U Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

ome of the records

References

External links

* [http://www.fai.org/ Official FAI website]


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