Fedor Konyukhov….not your average household name….not yet! Until you hear that this kickass Russian adventurer just set the world record for fastest hot-air balloon circumnavigation of the world!
And…yes there is more: He scaled Everest twice, climbed all of the Seven Summits, and skied to both the North and South Pole. He even visited the Pole of Inaccessibility in the Arctic Ocean, crossed the Pacific Ocean in a rowboat and sailed around the world four times. Truly a kickass adventurer.
Fastest Hot-Air Balloon RTW trip
Richard Branson was one of the earliest adventurers that attempted to set the world record for the first (and fastest) Hot-Air Balloon trip around the world. He eventually succeeded. And Jonathan Trappe then tried to outdo him by flying a bunch of colourful (cluster) balloons globally. Visually stunningly he did make a lasting impression…but the record was unbroken. Until Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov completed an epic round-the-world journey in a hot air balloon in July 2016. Konyukhov covered 33,000 km (20,506 miles) while setting a new speed record in the process.
Konyukhov started his kickass journey on July 12, 2016, taking to the air at 7:30 AM local time at a point located just north of Perth, Australia. He touched down in the town of Bonnie Rock, located in Western Australia at about 5:00 PM in the evening of the 23th of July completing a full loop around the world in only in only 11 days!
In completing the journey, the 64-year old Russian became just one of four people to successfully circumnavigate the globe in a balloon. And only the second one to do so solo. Konyukhov circled the planet in a carbon non-pressurized pod while cruising along at speeds in excess of 150 miles (240 km) per hour, at an altitude that often reached to 30,000 feet (9144 meters). His speed record is two days faster than the previous mark, which was set by Steve Fossett and Richard Branson back in 2002.
Hot-Air Balloon RTW Challenges
Some of the challenges that he faced while flying around the globe in a balloon included bad weather, a frozen valve on his oxygen tanks (obviously), and a storm that froze over the balloon, adding enough additional weight that the flight was in serious jeopardy for a time. At one point, he even strayed far enough south that he was nearing Antarctica, just as his onboard heater was struggling to continue working. Just the almost standard difficulties that every kickass world record breaker encounters.
Given Konyukhov previous and current accomplishments we know he will be back for more kickass adventures……at least we hope!