Ukraine-born Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov has launched his bid for a world record, as he took off on an around the globe flight in a hot air balloon. The brave explorer took off at 7:33 am on 12 July from a Western Australian location.
65-year-old Konyukhov intends to beat the previous record of 13 days set by American Steve Fossett in 2002, which is the only successful hot air balloon flight around the world to date by a solo navigator. Fossett started from the exactly same spot in Avon Valley, ABC reported.
To beat the previous record, Konyukhov needs to complete his journey in less than 13 days 18 hours and 33 minutes.
The trip is reflected on Flightradar.com and has its own website flyfedor.ru.
Is Fedor Konyukhov the world’s greatest voyager?
Konyukhov has been called “the greatest adventurer in the world”.
- He climbed Everest twice.
- He made 3 trips to the North Pole and 1 to the South Pole.
- He concurred the Pole of Inaccessability in the Arctic Ocean.
- He sailed around the world 4 times.
- He is a Christian priest ordained by the Ukrainian Orthodox church.
- He is an honorary Academic of the Russian Academy of Arts and the author of over 3,000 paintings.
The flight path is planned to cross the space above Australia in 2 days towards New Zealand over the Tasman Sea. From there the hot air balloon should proceed over the Pacific to Chile and Argentina in South America, followed by the trip over the Atlantic Ocean towards South Africa. Next it is the Indian Ocean and back to Australia.
However, things may not go as planned. Hot air balloons are not the type of craft that can be easily directed towards a certain destination, they fly with the wind.
Russian explorer’s team has been tirelessly working for 2 years preparing for the flight. Konyukhov has arrived to Australia more than a month ago with his cargo. The trip had to be delayed due to unfavourable weather conditions for weeks but yesterday’s launched was described by the hero himself as “perfect”.
The world traveller will be locked inside a pod that barely allows to move.
- Distance: 33,000 km (20,505 miles)
- Temperature outside: up to -44˚C (-47˚F)
- Altitude: 5,000-8,000 m (16,400-26,200 ft.)
- Speed: up to 160 km/hour (99 miles/hour)
The fearless voyager will be able to sleep no more than 4 hours a day to manage his progression. He is expected to cover the distance over Australia in 2 days.
His press spokeperson is his son Oskar Konyukhov, who watched his father to take off yesterday and then flew in an aircraft to take photos from a close distance.
Current parameters (27 hours into the flight):
- Covered 1109 km (689 miles)
- Speed 43 km/hour (27 miles/hour)
- Altitude: 7139 m (23421 ft.)
- Temperature outside: -8˚C (17˚F)
View the latest updates on the flight here.
Photos: Konyukhov.ru, Flyfedor.ru
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