Helicopter sport FAI Rotorcraft commission (CIG)

About The FAI Rotorcraft Commission (CIG) by Konrad Geissler and Wolfgang Perplies

Deutscher Hubschrauber Club

It took visionaries representing eight countries, accomplished aviators, who came together in 1905 in Paris to agree the cross-national regulation for this sector, and also to create an umbrella organisation for competitive aviation. They used the Olympic idea as a guide which despite all national egocentricities and individualities remains the basis of the Olympic Games and has proven sustainable.

These eight aviation officials came from Belgium, Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and the United States of America. They prepared a pioneering constitution and eventually elected the Frenchman Prince Roland Bonaparte as their first president on 15th October 1905.
At that time no one could have predicted the rousingly positive developments the FAI would experience in its lifetime. 112 countries are now members of the organisation which moved from Paris to Lausanne ,Switzerland in 1998; a mere 11 employees run the office in the Avenue do Rhodanie 54; 2500 volunteers globally work for the FAI; in 2017 the FAI calendar featured 686 major events. The commission of the AeroModelling group meanwhile has the largest number of members with 13,200 aviation enthusiasts!

In the early days very few helicopter enthusiasts drove the development of the helicopter, even fewer predicted the vast deployment possibilities of this aircraft. Historically wars accelerated the development of future technologies. However, in the case of the rotorcraft it took until the 1950 when the 'Commission de Giraviation' was finally founded within the framework of the 48th General Conference in Paris in June 1955.
The Swiss aviation pioneer Forrer was elected President and the first Plenary Meeting of the young organisation -CG as it was initially called- swiftly took place in January 1957. The aim was to find more sports opportunities for this aircraft independent from airports, to demonstrate its importance to a larger audience, and to publicise the possibilities in search and rescue services by means of international competitions.

Similar to the other FAI commissions CIG aspired to hold national competitions and world championships with helicopters. National associations carried out the competitions, however, the frameworks and regulations varied greatly.

In the end it was the German Army Aviators in Bückeburg who in 1969 started with the plans for the first Helicopter World Championship in 1971. Otto Rietdorf (D) received the acceptance award from the FAI-CIG and preparations for the first competition on a large scale commenced full of verve.

The World Championship also included a global meet of the Whirly Girls, as well as a competition for remote-controlled Helicopter models and the emergence of the helicopter museum in Bückeburg. Rules and regulations emphasised the practice of partial disciplines of the air rescue services – as experienced during the 1962 floods of Hamburg. The first World Championship was a huge success, Hans-Dietrich Genscher (German Minister of the Interior) acted as sponsor, many illustrious guests came from all over the world to attend or even take an active part.

14 further World Championships followed under the direction of FAI-CIG, most featuring 50 crews at the starting blocks. New competition disciplines followed. Meanwhile there are World Helicopter Cup events taking place in four to five countries every year and the World Air Games are intended to take place every three years. The FAI-CIG comprises 46 Delegates/Alternate Delegates to date, 15-20 of whom work mostly on the annual conference in Lausanne.
This Helicopter Meeting has now merged into a solid family, FAI-staff assisting in undertaking the work required. Next on the agenda is the 16th World Cup in Minks/Belarus later this year.
Our RPM are spot on, our engine works reliably, we’re making headway in the CIG!

Konrad Geissler and Wolfgang Perplies

Back to Top