The World Rally Flying Championship, will be the first General Aviation World Sport event in Portugal and is organized by Aeroclube de Torres Vedras, a Public Utility Institution official created in 1946, on behalf of The World Air Sports Federation-FAI.
Aeroclube de Torres Vedras (ACTV) is a non-governmental and non-profitable Portuguese aeronautical institution, that was created with the mystic Santa Cruz Beach Airfield, the western aerodrome in Continental Europe, created 85 years ago, in 1931, by civilian and military aviation enthusiast, that only after the World War II was officially formalized.
For almost 40 years, Aeroclube de Torres Vedras Aerodrome, was the closest civilian aeronautical facility from Lisbon (45km), the capital of Portugal, with a unique location (few meters from the beach/hotels) and was one of the most important players on the development of aviation in Portugal.
Since the beginning, Aeroclube de Torres Vedras was closely “linked” to Portuguese Air Force and TAP Portugal (the Portuguese National Airline), and some professionals of these two institutions, voluntarily conducted the Aeroclube de Torres Vedras or its well known flight school, as still happens now.
Through its long History, Aeroclube de Torres Vedras developed several aeronautical activities, like Aeromodeling (1946), Aeroplanes (1946), Gliders (from the 50´s), Rocketry Experiments (60´s), Hang-Gliding (80´s), Ultralights (80´s), Paragliding (90´s), Motorgliders (2012), but the main activity was always General Aviation with its Pilot Flying School.
Numerous historical air machines incorporated Aeroclube de Torres Vedras fleet, from aircrafts, gliders, aeromodels or even scientific experimental rockets:
-Airplanes:Tiger Mouth, Piper Cub/Tripacer, AusterD4/D5/Aiglet, Chipmunk, MSRallye and Cessna 150/152/172.
-Gliders: EonBaby , Bocian, RhonlercheKA4, Blanik, SDZ-36 (Cobra15,) TwinAstir, Silene, BrasovIS-28-M2G (Motorglider).
-Ultralights: QuickSilver MXL2, Tecnam P-92, AirCreation GT-BI (Weight Shift).
-Paragliders: Several school/entry level paragliders.
-Rocketry: High Power Rockets (HPR) for science projects and Model Rockets
-Aeromodelling: Control-Line, Trainers, Scale Models and Helicopters.
Aeroclube de Torres Vedras, also contributes to several humanitarian and social responsibility activities, as rescue missions on the shoreline or the very successful assistance on wildfires surveillance, with more than 1000 hours flying annually (on the 80´s and 90´s), representing an important and recognized contribution to minimize the fires impact in Portugal.
Aeroclube de Torres Vedras flight school, presently named Escola Nacional de Aviação Desportiva (National Sport Aviation School), started the first pilot course in 1946 and thereafter had a major role in pilots training in Portugal, from sport aviation to professional airline carriers pilots. The flight school of Aeroclube de Torres Vedras was the First Portuguese Official Cessna Pilot Center and also the First Aviation School in Portugal conducting European Professional Pilots courses (JAA-CPL/IR). 70 years later, the flight school of the Aeroclube de Torres Vedras is still considered the most recognized in pilot training in Portugal.New Mission Objectives for 21th Century:
Nowadays Aeroclube de Torres Vedras start a new approach, a new vision for what could be an Aeronautical Public Utility Institution in the 21th Century:
An Aeronautical Institution that acts as an active player on the society, incrementing the economy, locally and nationally, attracting visitors to our touristic region, and also be an active player on Air Sports and Education, disseminating Aeronautical Science with its multiple and diverse knowledge, to the general public and education community (students and teachers).
Parallel to the traditional flight school unit, Aeroclube de Torres Vedras created two innovating units in order to implement the updated mission objectives:
-A Science Center called AeroEspaço-Air and Space Science Center with the aim to promote and disseminate science and technological culture in the areas of Air and Space.
-An Air Sports Branch, named Centro Nacional de Aviação Desportiva (National Sport Aviation Center) with the aim to promote and organize national and international Air Sport Competitions, taking the most advantages of Santa Cruz Beach Airfield and Aeroclube de Torres Vedras historical flying experience.
Presently the Aeroclube de Torres Vedras Science Center works on aerospace projects with ESA (European Space Agency), organizing international projects as the CanSat European Rocket Launch Campaign, also nationally with Portuguese Air Force Academy on supporting Unmanned Aerial Platforms Projects or the National Agency for Science and Technological Culture- Ciência Viva, on the organization of educational projects, among other entities.
The ACTV Air Sports Branch organized the Portuguese Rally Flying Championship, FAI International competitions, such as the aeromodelling F3A World CUP, has created the first multidisciplinary air sport event in Portugal, the Santa Cruz Air Race, that consists in the combination of several air sports competitions during 8 consecutive days in the peak of summer time. Besides these activities, the ACTV Air Sport Branch also promotes pilots competition training and supports national competition flying teams, as the Portuguese Rally Flying Team, together with national sport controllers entities.
In 2016, the year of 70th Anniversary, Aeroclube de Torres Vedras achieve its mission objectives, with the organization of the two most relevant world events, in the areas of AeroSpace Science and Air Sport.
Its with Proud and Honor that Aeroclube de Torres Vedras organize on behalf of the European Space Agency and the World Air Sports Federation, the most relevant European Space Education Hands-On Project, the ESA European CanSat Rocket Launch Campaign, and respectively the 20th FAI World Rally Flying Championship representing a milestone in Portuguese Air and Space History.
All in above demonstrates the importance of the Aeronauticals Non-Profits Organizations as relevant players on nowadays society, contributing for a better and fascinating World.