Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Round the world attempt in a hot air balloon

After many years of preparation, this morning a 64year old Russian adventurer named Fedor Konyukhov took off from Northam Western Australia in a hot air-helium balloon in a round-the-world-in-13-days world record attempt.
Favourable weather conditions greeted Fedor's first attempt at flying around world in his balloon.
The daredevil Russian attempts to break American Steve Fossett’s 13 day round-the-world record which was set back in 2002.

Steve Fossett became the first person to fly around the world alone, nonstop in any kind of aircraft. He launched the 10-story high balloon Spirit of Freedom from Northam, Western Australia on the 19th June 2002 and returned to Australia on the 3rd July 2002, subsequently landing in Queensland. Duration and distance of this solo balloon flight was 13 days, 8 hours, 33 minutes (14 days 19 hours 50 minutes to landing), 20,626.48 statute miles (33,195.10 km).

The mercury dipped to 0C at midnight in Northam, about 100km northeast of Perth, as Konyukhov and his team inflated the “Morton” Rosiere balloon — a combined hot air and helium gas balloon.
The 56-metre tall balloon, the same height as the leaning Tower of Pisa, is wider than two double decker buses end to end, however the gondola itself is only 1.6m wide.
Blessed with clear skies and little wind, the Russian survivalist, balloon pilot, yacht captain and ordained Eastern Orthodox priest is expected to take off just after 7am from Northam Airfield
Mr Konyukhov arrived in Perth early last month but has faced several delays to his launch due to poor weather.
Mr Konyukhov will fly at heights of up to 10,000 metres and will take advantage of east to west wind corridors to speed him up. His cruising speed will vary between 100km/h and 300km/h, all while enduring at temperatures of about -40C.
The balloon can be followed on Flightradar24 under RA2900G

The adventure will take him over the Tasman Sea to New Zealand before flying onwards to Chile, Argentina, South Africa, and back to WA.

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