ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: News Release/Biggest WAC Ever
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Thread: News Release/Biggest WAC Ever
Message: News Release/Biggest WAC Ever
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From: cks at sos.net (Carlys Sjoholm)
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 17:19:02 UTC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: THE BIGGEST WORLD AEROBATIC CHAMPIONSHIPS EVER! Oklahoma City, OK - With 24 countries and 101 individual pilots preregistered for participation in the XVIII World Aerobatic Championships (WAC), it appears this will be the biggest contest in the history of the event. Including each team's ground crews, more than 225 team members are expected. The last record was set in 1994 in Debrecen, Hungary, with 21 countries and 83 pilots flying. To date, the countries who have notified Contest Director Carl Whittle of their intentions to compete in what is often called the "Olympics of the Air" are: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Great Britain (U.K.), Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Ukraine, and the United States. If Japan, who has also expressed interest, commits, it will be the 25th country. "We are very pleased with the initial interest," said Carl Whittle. "Because of the logistics and expense of transporting so many people, aircraft, parts and supplies, and the general paraphernalia needed to travel thousands of miles to a foreign country and live for more than a month, we were warned that it may be a smaller than normal WAC. The response is a welcome surprise and we are geared up to host our guests in grand style befitting their status as world class performers." This international aerobatic competition is for Unlimited category powered aircraft. The aircraft are the latest technology, high performance planes and are designed specifically for Unlimited competition. The pilots are the best in the world. Since this is the first time in 16 years that the WAC has been held in the United States (it is usually held in a European country), this event provides a rare opportunity for American aviation enthusiasts to observe world class precision competition at its best. The United States contingent consists of five male and five female pilots. Those numbers are the maximum allowed for each member country. France and Russia, the strongest contenders (besides the United States) for the World Championship individual and team titles, are the only other teams with a full slate of pilots. "The U.S. Team is ready to take on the toughest competition the world has to offer," said U.S. Aerobatic Foundation President Paul Erdmann. "But, on the field or off, our team members welcome the opportunity to act as hosts and ambassadors to our visitors from around the world." The WAC will be held at Clarence E. Page Airport outside Oklahoma City August 18 - 30. Ticket information may be obtained by calling Oklahoma City All Sports Association at 405/236-5000 or 1-800-434-5000; fax 405/236-5008 after June 1. For all other information, call the WAC/Aerospace America Air Show office at 405/685-9546; fax to 405/685-9567. The U.S. Aerobatic Foundation has responsibility for the administrative and fund-raising functions for the U.S. Aerobatic Team. The U.S. Aerobatic Team receives no financial assistance from the federal government. Major corporate funding for the U.S. Team is provided by Shell Oil Company, makers of Aeroshell aviation lubricants. In addition to Shell, a contingent of associate sponsors and many individual donors make American participation in the WAC possible. Contributions in support of the U.S. Aerobatic Team may be directed to: U.S. Aerobatic Team, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086.