Unlimited Power Aerobatic Champions
The very first FAI World Aerobatic Championship (WAC) took place at Bratislava Airfield in 1960. At this stage the rules had not yet reached the Aresti-based standard that we know today, and the sequence diagrams from this event that are still available show up to 30 figures in a wide variety of shapes, some of which have now been consigned to history.
The relentless structural and engineering development of top-class aerobatic machinery through the years has led to aeroplanes with much better performance and aerobatic capabilities than those of the 1960's, as our separate Learning about Power Aerobatics page shows. The craft of judging aerobatic sequences has also had to keep pace, the work-load of a modern aerobatic judge and the complexity of the process now requiring a level of experience and basic knowledge that takes many years to acquire.
The champion pilots listed on the linked page here are truly worthy of the title World Aerobatic Champion, gifted and extraordinary sportsmen and women well remembered for their outstanding performances.
Advanced, Intermediate and Yak-52
Power Aerobatic Champions
The Advanced category at World Aerobatic Championship level was launched in 1995, and this very first event at Cape Town in South Africa was won by Martin Stahalik from the Czech Republic in a Zlin-50. These World and European Advanced aerobatic championships have proved extremely successful, the 2010 event in Poland with 83 pilots enjoying the largest entry at any CIVA championship.
Intermediate power is CIVA's most recent category, the series beginning in 2014 at Mossel Bay in South Africa. It follows the well established Yak-52 regulatory format launched in 2008 and offers organisers the added benefit that both categories can be combined within a single event, operating with the same programmes and sequence formats so that judging of both requires no shift in standards or techniques. While Intermediate pilots can choose to fly any of the modern era machinery the Yak-52 class is naturally restricted to using that specific aeroplane, the classic Russian aerobatic trainer for many decades.
UNLIMITED AND ADVANCED
GLIDER AEROBATIC CHAMPIONS
The FAI Unlimited Glider aerobatic championship series began in 1984 when the inaugural European competition was held at Paderborn in Germany, enabling Polish ace Jerzy Makula to claim the first of an astonishing eleven World and European championship titles. This unassuming pilot has been instrumental in raising the status of this sport to its current level, sharing the ultimate title even with power champion Mikhail Mamistov several times.
CIVA added an Advanced glider category in 2010 which has considerably helped to strengthen the numbers at events that combine both categories, though a lack of aerobatic glider development and little in the way of new types remains a potential barrier to future prospects.