Start Date of Fedor Konyukhov’s New Expedition Announced

Фёдор Конюхов и Алексей Меняйло полны решимости побить сразу два мировых рекорда. Фото: Алексей Мирошниченко
Фёдор Конюхов и Алексей Меняйло полны решимости побить сразу два мировых рекорда. Фото: Алексей Мирошниченко

Fedor Konyukhov's record flight on the “PhosAgro” hot air balloon starts early in the morning on March 24. This was announced at the pre-launch press conference of the legendary traveler Fedor Konyukhov and the president of the Balloon Federation of Russia Ivan Menyaylo in the city of Kirovsk, Murmansk Region.

As a result of the expedition, the balloonists plan to set two world records at once – the duration and distance travelled for a non-stop flight on a hot air balloon. Konyukhov and Menyaylo intend to improve their own achievement and stay in the air for more than 60 hours, as well as to cover a distance of up to 3,000km without landing. The current distance travelled record is 2,360km. It was set by Japanese pilot Michio Kanda on an English balloon in 1997 in Australia.


Экипаж готовит корзину воздушного шара. Фото: телеграм-канал Фёдора Конюхова
Экипаж готовит корзину воздушного шара. Фото:›konyukhovfedor

The flight is planned at an altitude of up to 5km with an average speed of 40-50km/h, during which fuel cylinders with a total weight of almost 4.5 tons will be used. As the son and general manager of the famous traveler, Oskar Konyukhov, told us, initially the flight route was supposed to be from north to south, approximately to the border with Kazakhstan. However, the prevailing winds currently have a direction from west to east. Therefore, the balloon will head towards Siberia, approximately to the Yenisei. And then, as they say, it’ll come down to luck.

Everything is ready for the flight. A container with the balloon and the basket has already been delivered to the launch pad, which is located near Kirovsk. The cylinders for the balloon burners are filled with a gas mixture. The site itself, where the balloon will be deployed and installed for the upcoming flight, is provided with the necessary facilities and equipment. Fedor Filippovich checked all this personally the day before.

“Our balloon is special. Before that, Russia has never built such large balloons – its volume is 12,000m3. I hope that the equipment will not let us down and with God's help we will carry out our plans and break two world records," the traveler said.

According to Fedor Konyukhov, the final start time of the flight will depend on the strength of the wind and the speed of filling the balloon with gas, which the weather can also make adjustments to.

To date, Fedor Konyukhov holds an absolute world record in the field of aeronautics: for the fastest flight around the world in a balloon, he was awarded the title of "Pilot of the Year" by the International Federation of Aeronautics (FAI) in 2016. Ivan Menyaylo is a multiple champion of Russia, Master of Sports in aeronautics, president of the Balloon Federation of Russia.

On the website the flight route will be broadcast in real time. You can also follow the flight here.

Nikolay Sumarokov