A Russian priest who circumnavigated the world in a balloon in record time has been presented the inaugural FAI - Breitling Pilot of the Year Award at a ceremony in Switzerland yesterday, Thursday 17 November 2016.
The FAI received the following records claims from the Russian balloonist Fedor Konyukhov, 64, who completed his circumnavigation on Saturday 23 July 2016 by landing near Bonnie Rock (AUS) in a Roziere combined hot-air and helium gas balloon:
Russian veteran traveler Fedor Konyukhov, 64, landed safe and sound near the small town of Bonnie Rock on 23 July at 16.15 local time (08.15 UTC) after a 11 day 8 hours and 42 minutes flight in a Roziere combined (hybrid) hot-air and helium gas balloon challenging the 2002 performance of aviation legend Steve Fossett (320 hours 33 minutes). Now, they are both the only pilots to have completed the solo circumnavigation.
On Tuesday, 12 July at 07:30 Local Time (00:30 UTC), Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov, 65, took off in a hot-air balloon in Northam, Western Australia, in a bid to beat the record time for a solo flight around the world. This has only been achieved once before by no other than the late American aviator legend Steve Fossett, who also took off from Northam Airfield in 2002 and is still a current FAI World Record. Konyukhov and his team have been preparing for the challenge for close to a year. He is confident that the balloon’s new technology will help him to break the standing record. He is hoping to fly 33,000km in 13 days or less.
Balloon World Record not broken since
We are pleased to continue our series of world record celebrations with an exceptional woman in ballooning sports: British Lindsay Muir. She established a female category duration world record for balloons in class AX-10 (Hot-air balloons: 4.000 to 6.000 m³) for a flight of 19h 07min 55sec on 21 May 2000 with the balloon “Lindstrand LBL-210 A” (G-FVBF).