August 13, 2022

Coming soon: the top air sports championships

In our action-packed calendar, there are hundreds of air sports competitions taking place around the world,…

In our action-packed calendar, there are hundreds of air sports competitions taking place around the world, whether it be world or continental championships, national or local contests. Many thousands of passionate competitors, organisers and officials will gather to compete and watch and judge these competitions.

Don’t miss an event in your country or your sport, with our guide to the top air sports championships and category 1 events taking place in the skies during the rest of 2022:

The World Games 2022

A major highlight of the 2022 calendar is The World Games, which features not one, but two air sports, as part of the second largest multi-sport event in the world after the Olympic Games. Canopy piloting and drone racing will both feature within the spectacular event, being held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA between 7-11 July 2022.

Aeromodelling

Aeromodelling is one of FAI’s broadest air sports, featuring racing in seven categories, each with different classes within the category. 

Alongside The World Games (see above), also being held in the USA is the 2022 FAI F3DE World Championships for Pylon Racing Model Aircraft which is happening between 8-14 July in Indiana. Other world contests are based in Europe, such as the F4 Scale Model Aircraft in Tønsberg, Norway (23-30 July) and the F3K Model Gliders from 24-29 July in Martin, Slovakia followed by F3J Model Gliders from 31 Jul- 5 Aug, also in Slovakia, in Tekovsky Hradok. 

The 2022 FAI F2 World Championships for Control Line Model Aircraft takes place from 8-13 Aug in Włocławek, Poland, and seniors and juniors will participate in speed, aerobatics, team racing and combat disciplines.

Later in the year, F5B Electric Model Aircraft racers in junior and senior categories will take part in the 2022 FAI F5B World Championship for Electric Model Aircraft between 11-17 Sep in Dupnitsa, Bulgaria. In October, F3F Model Gliders will compete in Hanstholm, Denmark from 2-8 October, followed by the 2022 FAI F1D World Championships for Indoor Model Aircraft also in Romania between 12-15 December

Specifically for younger aeromodellers, the FAI F1ABP Junior World Championships For Free Flight Model Aircraft will see young pilots compete in glider, wakefield and piston motor disciplines. This event runs from 25-30 July in Pordim Bulgaria.

On top of these World Championships there will also be 5 European Championships for aeromodelling, in August. Categories include space modelling, electric powered thermal duration gliders and free flight slope soaring gliders.

Aeromodelling CIAM scholarship winner
CIAM scholarship 2021 winner, Kristina Ivanova of Bulgaria, launching her F1B model in a National Competition. Image: Kristina Ivanova

ballooning

The biggest ballooning event will be the 64th Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett, this year hosted in Saint Gallen, Switzerland from 1-10 September. Nineteen gas balloons will take to the skies for the 64th edition of the event. The two crew members, supported by teams on the ground, will endeavour to fly for the longest distance without stopping. This historic race is a classic of the ballooning calendar, in which anything can happen!

Not long afterwards, Murska Sobata in Slovenia will host the 24th World Hot Air Balloon Championships running from 17-23 September, in which pilots from 33 countries will compete.

Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett
Pre-take off at the 2017 Gordon Bennett Cup. Image: FAI / Marcus King

GENERAL AVIATION 

Two categories within the General Aviation Commission will have an international contest in 2022. France will host the 25th World Precision Flying Championship between 20-27 August, in Albi, followed by the 22nd World Rally Flying Championship from 13-19 November in Brits, South Africa with four flight days plus one reserve. 

19th FAI World Rally Flying Championship
19th FAI World Rally Flying Championship 2014. Image: Tadeusz Misiasek

Gliding

The next gliding event is the 4th World 13.5m Class Gliding Championships 2-16 July in Pociũnai, Kaunas, Lithuania. Twenty one countries are represented, according to organisers. Also taking place here are the 21st FAI European Gliding Championships. Shortly after this will be the 37th World Gliding Championships which are being hosted by Szeged, Hungary from 23 Jul to 6 August. Over in the UK, in Husbands Bosworth, female glider pilots will gather for the 11th Womens World Gliding Championships between 13-27 Aug. The FAI 12th Junior World Gliding Championships are being held from 31 Jul – 24 Aug in Tabor, Czech Republic. Forty-four young pilots will compete in the club class, and 30 in the standard class. 

18th FAI European Gliding Championships 2015
18th FAI European Gliding Championships. Image: Retkes Tamás

Hang Gliding

This year in Hang Gliding the Class 1 category will compete in the 21st FAI European Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship in Italy from 10-23 July, and the Class 2 pilots will head to Aspres sur Buech, France for the 21st World Hang Gliding Class 2 Championships from 25 July – 6 August.

Hang Gliding Aspres 2017
A hang glider flying over Aspres-sur-Buech in the 20th FAI World Hang Gliding Class 2 Championship 2017

Microlights and Paramotors

Within Microlights and Paramotors, two category 1 contests will be held in the Czech Republic this year: the 17th FAI World Microlight Championships from 23-30 July in Hoisin, and later in the year, the 4th World Paramotor Slalom Championships in Strachotin from 10-17 September. In Hoisin there are solo and two-person crews participating in classic and autogyo classes. The Paramotor slalom pilots will be in RPL 1 T (landplane, solo) and RPF 1 T (foot launched) in men’s and women’s.

TWG2017 paramotor Marcus King
Paramotor pilot at The World Games 2017. Image: Marcus King

Paragliding

In paragliding there are two cat. 1 events, both Europeans: 129 pilots have confirmed participation in the 16th FAI European Paragliding Championships, running from 25 July to 6 August in Pantelej – Nis, Serbia, for the cross country contest.  At the 7th FAI European Paragliding Accuracy Championships, 29 countries have registered pilots to visit Sibiu, Romania from 2-10 September.

The 4th FAI Asian Paragliding Accuracy Championships are taking place in Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan, until 29th June.

16th FAI Paragliding World Championship 2019 - Krushevo(MKD) FAI/Marcus King
16th FAI Paragliding World Championship 2019. Image: FAI/Marcus King

Power and Glider Aerobatics

In Power and Glider Aerobatics, Leszno airfield in Poland will see the 31st FAI World Aerobatic Championships take place between 2-13 August. Ten countries have registered teams so far.

In Issoudun, France, the very best aerobatic glider pilots will gather to compete in the 24th World Aerobatic Glider Championships or the 12th World Advanced Aerobatic Glider Championships.

 FFA
30th FAI World Aerobatic Championships 2019 Image: FFA

Skydiving

Formerly known as parachuting, the skydiving category currently has the 45th CISM World Military Parachuting Championships a Cat 1 event which is taking place until 30 June in Guessing, Austria.

Aside from this current event, there are two headlines act for skydiving 2022, with The World Games, which sees the world’s best canopy pilots gather in Birmginham, Alabama, USA from 7-12 July. Then, later in July, the Czech Republic’s Aeroklub Strakonice will host the 37th FAI World Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing Championships as well as the 11th FAI Junior World Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing Championships. 

tanaymondial2021 andrey veselov_
Wingsuit flying at the Tanay Mondial 2020. Image: Andrey Veselov

Eloy, Arizona will once again host multiple disciplines for the 2022 World Parachuting Championships. The event will run from 9-26 October 2022 in Eloy, Arizona, USA, and is organised by Skydive Arizona. This high-adrenalin multi-discipline event will include the following competitions:

  • 20th FAI World Canopy Formation Championships
  • 9th FAI World Canopy Piloting Championships
  • 3rd FAI World Canopy Piloting Freestyle Championships
  • 4th FAI World Wingsuit Flying Championships
  • 25th FAI World Formation Skydiving Championships 
  • 14th FAI World Artistic Events Championships
  • 4th FAI World Speed Skydiving Championships

Tanay Mondial 2020 held in 2021 Leysa
Tanay Mondial 2020 held in 2021. Image: Leysa

Stay up to date!

As always, keep an eye on FAI’s news pages and social media channels to follow the latest air sports updates:

Header image: 20th European Aerobatic Championships 2016. Image: FAI / Marcus King