28th FAI World Aerobatic Championships in France in August 2015

wac2015From August 20 to August 29, 2015, the 60 best aerobatic pilots in the world will gather in Châteauroux, in the Center region of France, to compete for the most coveted of all aerobatic titles. The partially renewed French team will defend its four titles won in the Individual, Team, Male, and Female categories during the last world championships in Texas in 2013.  The French Aeronautical Federation (FFA) is organizing this sporting event and will also offer the public a number of attractions on the ground to complete the aerobatic performances. The event will end on Saturday August 29 with a giant free-admission airshow.

A sporting challenge

The last time France hosted the FAI World Aerobatic Championships in the Unlimited category, the most difficult aerobatic competition, was in 2000. In 2015, Team France will defend its four titles at home. As François Le Vot, the French reigning world champion, decided to put an end to his sports career, it will be up to Olivier Masurel to fight for victory. He will be facing the recently crowned European champion Carlos Fantoba from Spain and the Russian multiple champion Mikhail Mamistov. In the Female category, Aude Lemordant, the French defending world champion, will be challenged by multiple champion Svetlana Kapinana from Russia, and Melissa Pemberton from the USA.

All pilots will compete in four programs: Known, Free, Free Unknown, Unknown 1 and 2. Only the top fifteen ranking pilots will participate in the particularly spectacular Full Free program that will close the championships.

The center stage during these eight days will be the ‘box’, a volume of airspace inside which the maneuvers take place when pilots perform their flights.

A rich entertainment program

The French Aeronautical Federation wants to make these 2015 FAI World Aerobatic Championships a 10-day aeronautical celebration to remember. Throughout the competition, it will set up side events to keep the audience, aerobatic enthusiasts and general public alike, excited. “We want to go beyond the purely sporting aspect”, said Jean-Luc Charron, the Federation’s Vice-President. To be closer to the public, the opening ceremony will not be held at the airfield, but in the heart of Chateauroux on Thursday, August 20. The Patrouille de France (the French military display team) will fly-by in front of the spectators to mark the opening of the championships. Then, for 10 days, many activities will be offered to the public at the airfield where the competition is to take place: flight simulators, visits of legendary aircraft, static exhibition of aeroclub aircraft in which visitors will be allowed to sit for a ‘learn to fly’ on the ground experience, first aerobatic flights, a Subaru-sponsored racetrack, … and more.

The FFA has also planned daily fly-ins at the nearby airfield of Châteauroux-Villers.

A giant air show will close the competition on August 29. It will include extraordinary display flights by the Patrouille de France, the Rafale, the Breitling Wings Walkers, and many others, who will salute the new world champions and all the pilots who participated in the competition.  

50,000 spectators are expected to attend the world championship.

A high-level competition

The competition will start on Thursday, August 20 in the morning and finish on Friday, August 29. The program is the following: Known, Free, Free Unknown, Unknown 1 and 2, and finally Full Free. Sixty pilots will represent 20 different nations. Videos of the aerobatic flights will be projected live on a giant screen with a commentary so that the public can discover and understand aerobatics.

About the French Aeronautical Federation (FFA)

Established in 1929, the FFA is the largest private pilots’ federation in Europe and the second largest in the world. It represents more than 600 flying clubs, 41,000 pilots, 2,200 instructors, 2,500 aircraft, and 600,000 flight hours per year. As such, it plays an important part in the development of the light aircraft industry. It is also the link between the French civil aviation authority and the general aviation community (www.ffa-aero.fr).