Sports, Aerial: The oldest discipline in aerial sports (since 1882) is Ballooning, introduced by V. Silberer, who was also responsible for founding an association for aerial sports. Attempts at piloting a glider plane preceded the early stages of motorised flying (I. Etrich), which is mainly practised today with light planes, sporting planes, ultralights in the form of navigational, precision and stunt flying. The practice of flying glider-planes began in Austria with glider competitions in the Semmering area in 1910/1911. R. Kronfeld attained world-class level in long-distance and high-altitude flying in the twenties; only after World War II in 1952 were national championships held again; in 1968 H. Woedl became world champion. Parachuting as a sport comprises accuracy parachuting, freestyle and formation skydiving competitions; the beginnings of these disciplines coincide with the liberalisation of aerial sports in the fifties. Model plane flying with glider or motorised planes or helicopters weighing 5-20 kg began in the twenties; in recent times Austria has recorded many victories in world championship competitions (e.g. R. Freudenthaler). Organised hang-gliding, also practised in competition, became popular in the 1970s (first hang-gliding association world-wide founded in Koessen in Tirol in 1973), somewhat later paragliding rose to popularity. Aerial sports are organised under an umbrella organisation, the Austrian Aero-Club.
Publications#Aeroclub-Info; prop (Modellflugmagazin); Oesterreichische Flugsport-Zeitung.
Literature#Oesterreichischer Aero-Club (ed.), Flugsport und allgemeine Luftfahrt in Oesterreich, Vienna, without date (1989).