Fedor Konyukhov, Russian adventurer flying a Cameron Balloons, Bristol-made helium, hot-air, combination balloon, (Roziere 550) sponsored by MORTON Russia - has succeeded in flying, around-the-world, non-stop - breaking the previous solo, world record, for the shortest time flown around-the-world.
Fedor’s voyage began at sunrise on Tuesday 12th July 2016, launching at 7.33 am (Monday 11th July at 23.33 UTC) from Northam, Near Perth, Australia crossing the meridian of his take-off on Saturday 23rd July at 05.05 UTC, beating the record set by Steve Fossett in 2002.
In the history of aviation, only three balloons, have ever completed this round-the-world flight successfully, ALL, have been built by Cameron Balloons, Bristol, UK.
“We are incredibly pleased for Fedor, he has overcome not only the extreme altitude where the cold was so punishing that electronic and other equipment became frozen solid while flying over, around and in-amongst thunderstorms making parts inoperable for periods. Fedor also had to suffer extreme sleep-deprivation and only basic nutrition and all the while he constantly had to wear a vital oxygen supply. It is a wonderful end to a great aeronautical adventure. A testament to Fedor's 'nerves-of-steel', his incredible spirit-of-adventure and to his superb support and information team of which Cameron Balloons were very proud to be a part of too.”
Don Cameron, Round-the-World Launch Master & Founder of Cameron Balloons Ltd.
Flight statistics are:
Time Round-The-World Distance Flight Duration
Piccard & Jones 1999 15d 10h 24m 40814km 19d 21h 47m
Fossett 2002 13d 12h 10m 33195km 14d 19h 50m
Fedor Konyukhov 2016 11d 5h 32m 32996km 11d 8h 42m*
(* Figures awaiting official confirmation)
Cameron has agreed and committed to a contract for the construction of a new around-the-world balloon for famous Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov.
"Nobody in the world makes better balloons that the Brits, so our balloon is being made by Cameron Balloons, and it will fly on Russian helium," said Konyukhov.
The balloon is wanted for a launch from Northam in Australia during a specific weather ‘window’ between May to September 2016 period. Cameron Balloons will build a composite gondola which will house the balloon’s control systems, oxygen supplies, flight communication and navigational instruments, a sleeping-bunk, water supplies, food rations, life-saving emergency equipment, first-aid supplies and clothing, all of which will be flown under a Cameron Balloons Roziere-550 helium/hot-air combination balloon.
This is a similar setup of equipment used by the late American Steve Fossett, who also took-off from Northam and made the first solo circumnavigation of the world by balloon in 2002, in just under 15days.
“Fedor and his son Oscar visited the factory in Bristol last year and they will be returning again before the end of 2015 to view the construction process and for Fedor to start his Roziere balloon ground-training with Don Cameron.” Said Sales Director Nick Purvis.
Organiser and Flight Director will be Alan Noble, who previously filled similar roles with Steve Fossett and Breitling during their successful global flights.
Fedor Konyukhov was born near the Black Sea in December 1951, he is married with three grown-up children. He has successfully completed lots of expeditions, over land and over the sea in yachts and has even spent 160days (16,800km) across the Pacific in a row boat! He has climbed some of the world’s highest mountains and trekked in the most inhospitable of environments completing extreme polar expeditions, but he has never adventured before into the air! These amazing feats also seem to provide creative inspiration too as Fedor has published 9 books and painted over 3000 pieces of art.
Fedor started his balloon-training in 2014 and has already with Cameron Balloons’ Russian representative Ivan Menyalo broken the Russian hot-air balloon duration record for the AX-9 (approx. 120thousand cubic foot) sized hot-air balloon flying for over 19hours and 10minutes in well below freezing temperatures.
<< Click here to download Fedor's latest biography >>
Steve Fossett’s world record stands at - Northam, Western Australia to Queensland, Australia. 13 days 12 hours 5 minutes (14 days 19 hours 50 minutes to landing), 20,482.26 statute miles (32,963 kilometres).