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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: FAI Aerobatics Trophies/Sport Aerobatics


Thread: FAI Aerobatics Trophies/Sport Aerobatics

Message: FAI Aerobatics Trophies/Sport Aerobatics

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From: cks at (Carlys Sjoholm)

Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 21:47:24 UTC



The following is an article on the FAI aerobatics trophies which is
scheduled to appear in the April 1996 issue of Sport Aerobatics magazine.
Be sure to look for it in the magazine, where photos will accompany the


Carlys Sjoholm


The FAI Trophies for Aerobatics

by Carlys Sjoholm
U.S. Aerobatic Foundation Executive Secretary

When aerobatic pilots commit themselves to strive for the titles of World
Aerobatic Champion and Men's or Women's World Team Champions, they are
truly world class amateur athletes competing for the honors, just like the
Olympic Games.  The winners are awarded medals and diplomas.  Their names
are engraved on the appropriate trophies.  They earn the right to exhibit
the trophies in their country for the two years until the next World
Aerobatic Championships (WAC).  But no prize money is at stake.

Much is made of the honor of "bringing home the trophies".  These perpetual
trophies are as unique in their own right as the aerobatic pilots to whom
they have been presented.  Each trophy is a one-of-a kind work of art.  All
the trophies have been donated to the FAI (Federation Aeronautique
Internationale) by individuals or by national aero clubs.  The FAI and CIVA
(Commission Internationale de Voltige Aerienne) do not have a fund for the
creation of trophies.  The FAI does, however, create and present gold
medals and diplomas to each WAC champion.

Presented to the overall World Aerobatic Champion, the Aresti Cup is the
centerpiece of the collection.  Donated to the FAI by José L. Aresti, he
commissioned its creation in Spain in the early '60s.  The first World
Champion to be presented the Aresti Cup was Tomas Castaño of Spain in 1964.
Without question, the Aresti Cup is the most valuable and coveted trophy
in international aerobatics, not only because it is awarded to the pilot
earning the highest possible honor, but also because of its intrinsic value
as precious piece of art.  The trophy was crafted from silver with gold
embellishments.  In the interest of producing a truly international trophy,
each of the FAI member nations were asked to supply a gold coin and a gold
emblem of their national aero club, which adorn the body of the cup.  The
trophy is topped with a golden globe and surmounted by a silver model of
Aresti's favorite aerobatic plane, the Bücker Jungmeister.  The names of
each of the past World Champions are engraved on the trophy.  The gold
epaulettes at either side of the cup were at the time of it's creation
valued at $22,000.  Although it's appraised value was not known at the time
of this writing, when the trophy was last held in the United States in 1988
it was insured for $50,000.

The Royal Aero Club Trophy was donated by Great Britain's Royal Aero Club
to honor the Women's World Aerobatic Champion.  It was first presented in
1986.  Prior to that time, there was no trophy presented in recognition of
the title.

The Women's World Aerobatic Championship Team receives the FAI Challenge
Cup.  Donated by the USSR in 1988, it was first earned by the United States
in Red Deer, Alberta, that year.  This trophy is of a contemporary design.
Again, prior to this time the Women's Team Champions were not recognized
with a trophy.

The Nesterov Cup is presented to the Men's World Aerobatic Championship
Team.  In commemoration of Petr N. Nesterov, the famous Russian aerobatic
pilot reputed to be the first human to perform a loop in September 1913,
the USSR donated this trophy to the FAI in 1962.  It is an antique piece,
featuring intricate silver work and a depiction of Nesterov on the side.
This, like the Aresti Cup is an extremely valuable and beautiful piece or

The winner of the 4-Minute Freestyle program receives the Manfred
Strössenreuther Trophy. West Germany donated it in 1988 in commemoration of
Strössenreuther who, until he was killed in the mid-80s in a mid-air
collision, was the German National Champion and a consistent medal winner
at the WAC.  Since the 4-Minute was his forte, the German Aero Club chose
to offer the trophy for the winner of this event.  Jurgis Kairis, who won
the 4-Minute in the 1994 WAC in Hungary, currently holds the trophy in

In 1990 the Swiss Aero Club donated the Eric Müller Trophy to the FAI.
This trophy is presented to the overall winner of the Unknown Compulsory
program.  The Swiss contributed this piece in memory of Müller, their
national champion for years and another regular top medal winner at the
WAC.  Müller won the Unknown in Red Deer in 1988.  He died of a heart
attack just before the 1990 WAC in Yverdon, Switzerland.  The trophy was
first presented in its completed form at the 1994 WAC in Debrecen, Hungary.

Photographs were not available of all the FAI trophies at the time of this
writing.  However, all the trophies will be on display in Oklahoma City
this summer.  Come to the WAC and see them for yourself.  They are
magnificent pieces, befitting the honor they represent.

Contributions in support of the U.S. Aerobatic Team's participation in the
World Aerobatic Championships may be directed to:  U.S. Aerobatic
Foundation, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI  54903-3086.


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn