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Fri, Nov 10, 2017

Huge Turnout Reported For The First FAI-ASFC World Fly-In Expo

China International Hot Air Balloon Tournament, International Paramotor Invitational Championships, And International Skydiving Championship Winners Crowned In Wuhan

More than 1,000 pilots, athletes, coaches and referees from 37 countries converged on Wuhan, China this week for the first edition of the FAI – ASFC World Fly-in Expo (WFE).

The air sports extravaganza, which ran from November 4 to 7, attracted some 300,000 attendees, including 100 exhibitors from general aviation companies and air sports organizations.

Highlights of the event included a triumphant Guinness World Record attempt involving 100 hot air balloon weddings.
FAI President Frits Brink was in attendance, accompanied by FAI President of Honour Dr John Grubbström, FAI Executive Directors Agust Gudmundsson and Bengt Lindgren, FAI Vice-President Andy Chau, and FAI Sports and Events Director Markus Haggeney.

“I am delighted to be here at the 2017 FAI – ASFC World Fly-in Expo in Wuhan," Brink said in his closing speech. "'Let's fly together’ is the slogan of the event. Together is the key word in all we do and strive for. Enjoying the sky, and I should better say, flying in the ‘open and peaceful’ sky is not only a joy but the obligation and responsibility to work on together as pilots from all around the world.”

Three big international competitions took place at the WFE: The China International Hot Air Balloon Tournament; the International Paramotor Invitational Championships, and; the International Skydiving Championship.

The National UAV Professional Technical Talents Grand Prix and the Innovative Aircraft Challenge, which aims to encourage the development of new types of aircraft, were also part of the event. “It is wonderful to see air sports developing so quickly in Asia and to meet many of the people driving that development at this fantastic event," Brink said. "The FAI is committed to promoting air sports around the world and is proud to be a host for the first ever World Fly-in Expo.

“As the governing body for air sports, the FAI is the only organization that can run recognized international competitions of this kind. Congratulations to the winners and to everyone who took part.”

Other highlights of the event included indoor and outdoor exhibitions included 100 stands and more than 200 aircraft, and a spectacular air show involving 588 aircraft. Formation skydiving, aerobatic stunts, aeromodelling demonstrations including a drone-powered light show were among the displays to thrill spectators. Paramotor pilots also broke the Chinese national record for a simultaneous launch, with 80 paramotors taking off together, while FAI officials enjoyed a successful meeting with the Air Sports Industry Summit.

(Source: FAI news release. Images provided. Top: [L-R] FAI President Frits Brink, M.r Zhao Yong, Deputy Minister of General Administration of Sports of China)

FMI: www.fai.org

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