The Australian inventor of the hang glider, John Dickenson, has been announced as the 2011 recipient of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale Gold Air Medal.

Past Australian winners of the FAI Gold Air Medal have included Bert Hinkler, Sir Donald Anderson, Peter Lloyd AO OBE and Jon Johanson.

International winners have included Sir Frank Whittle, Chuck Yeager, Andrey Tupolev, Yuri Gagarin and Steve Fossett to name a few.

Dickenson was awarded an OAM in 1996, but he is also an inductee of the Space Technology Hall of Fame (NASA and US Space Foundation) and was the recipient of the 2011 Presidential Citation (originally awarded in 1974 but never presented).

September next year will be the 50th anniversary of the first flight of his hang glider.

The FAI award is overdue recognition of an Australian who truly deserves a place amongst the pantheon of Aviation’s greats.

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