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Awarding by ELAO of the FAI Paul Tissandier diploma to Peter Livanos

Paul Tissandier was a French aviator, a student of Wilbur Wright, who conquered the ethers first with balloons and later with airplanes and seaplanes. His name has been identified with an honorary diploma awarded internationally to those who have practically supported the spread of the aviation idea and the preservation of the aviation heritage, being a timeless example of inspiration for their contribution.

On Thursday 7/12/2023 evening, in a modest ceremony held at the Air Force History Museum in Faliro, the president of the Hellenic Air Sports Federation, Nikos Makrakis, presented the great diploma to Peter Livanos. Although he and several generations of his family have excelled at sea, he has demonstrated the immense love he has for the Greek Air Force.

As the president of the Public Beneficial Foundation "Ikaros", he had the initiative to literally resurrect an iconic plane, the Supermarine Spitfire MJ755 of the Greek Air Force. He first saw the flying legend of World War II at Tatoi. Although it was in good condition, the expertise was not there to fly again. Thus was born the foundation that undertook the expense and painstaking process of traveling this plane to Britain, where there are experts to repair it. At the end of May 2021, the Spitfire touched Greek soil again after its long journey. The cost of its regeneration exceeded two million euros.

In the presence of vice-captain Themistocles Bourolias, chief of the General Staff of the Air Force, the commander of the Icaron School, vice-captain Konstantinos Karamesinis, the commander of the Air Force of the Navy, Athanasios Foskas, and other representatives of the GEETHA leadership, Peter Livanos received the diploma with emotion, underlining that thanks to our Armed Forces and even the air force, we citizens can feel safe and sleep peacefully while they are on alert, guarding the borders of the country performing their duty. The compatriot of the diaspora declared that he feels Greek out of deep love for the homeland and not because luck and geography once decided the place of his birth. He even gave the museum a large photo of the Spitfire.

However, the "Ikaros" Foundation has other ambitious plans in the works with the restoration of two more historic aircraft - a T6 Harvard and a Dakota C47 - so that they are in flying and operational condition. The aim in the distant future is to create in our country a squadron of historical aircraft for cultural heritage flights, which will be a pole of attraction for the younger ones as well as foreigners who love old planes.


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