Fedor Konyukhov
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Around the world on roziere balloon - Project Completed

After completing his solo row across the South Pacific Ocean from Chile to Australia in May 2014, Fedor Konyukhov announced that he intends to be back to the Green continent in the summer of 2016 for a quest to fly solo around the world on a Roziere balloon.  The best season to fly an air balloon in the Southern Hemisphere is June through August, allowing just enough time to construct the balloon and prepare for the next expedition.

To date, the only person who was able to fly a helium/hot-air balloon (Roziere) - solo around the world non-stop was Steve Fossett. It was his sixth attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon. The Spirit of Freedom, sponsored by the Bud Light Beer company was launched from Northam, Western Australia on June 19th, 2002 and on July 3rd, 2002 landed in Queensland, Australia.  The time on the 20,626.48 - mile flight was 13 days, 8 hours and 33 minutes.  Total time in the air (from take off until landing) was 14 days, 19 hours and 51 minutes.

June 2016, will witness a unique global event. Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov will attempt a solo flight around the world in a "Morton" Roziere balloon.

Take off scheduled from Northan, WA. Flight season in the Southern hemisphere 3 months (June, July, August). The actual flight time can be from 15 to 20 days.

The flight is scheduled to start in Australia in June 2016.  Starting the journey in winter eliminates the risk of being caught in tropical storms or cyclones.  Fedor has selected Northam as a tentative location for beginning the flight.  While circumnavigating the globe Fedor will pass over Australia - Tasman Sea - New Zealand- Pacific Ocean - South America (Chile, Argentina) -  Atlantic Ocean - South Africa - Indian Ocean – and land in Australia.

MORTON balloon is combination of hot air envelop and helium cell, known in the industry as a 'Roziere' balloon. Cameron Balloons Ltd of Bristol, England designed and built it.

The balloon envelope is 168 ft tall and 60 ft wide. It featured a mylar envelope or "tent" enclosing a small sealed helium balloon (623 cubic meters) at top and a secondary envelope, which enclosed a large sealed helium balloon (15.576 cubic meters). The twin envelopes minimizes heat loss, and traps solar heat during the day. Thirty-four tanks of propane and ethane fuel hanging beside the capsule to feed the burners on top.  Pilot can steer the balloon by ascending or descending to find wind blowing in the right direction. The balloon is equipped with a special onboard autopilot system called 'Comstock Autopilot’, which can maintain the balloon at a constant altitude by using a computer to control the burners. 

During the flight, Fedor will average 4 hours of sleep each day, broken up into 45-minute naps. He has to check regularly on the burners outside the capsule while flying at the height of 5-8 thousand meters at a speed of 200-300 km/h and 40 degrees below zero.

Flight Director will be Alan Noble from Cameron Balloons, who previously filled similar roles with Steve Fossett and Breitling Orbiter 3 during their successful global flights.

In the history of world aeronautics, there have only been two successful flights around the world:

• March 1999, Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, (on their third attempt) were first to circumnavigated the earth in a balloon, covering a distance of 40,000 kilometers in 20 days. (Took off in Switzerland, landed in Egypt)

• June 2002, Steve Fossett, (on his sixth solo attempt) circumnavigated the earth in a balloon, covering a distance of 33,000 kilometers in 13 days. Took off in Australia (Northam), landed in Australia (Queensland).

 

As well as becoming the first to circumnavigate the globe in a Roziere balloon, Steve Fossett also smashed two of his own previous records for the longest duration solo flight and the farthest solo flight. He also set a record for the longest distance in a 24-hour period covering 5,126 km. While flying across the Indian Ocean, The Spirit of Freedom flew at the altitude of 10,700 meters, and up to speeds of 320 km/h.

Fedor Konyukhov will strive to improve the records and attempt to circumnavigate the world faster than 13 days. 

During the last 16 years since the American set these records, helium/hot-air balloon technology has gone through serious advancements.  Fedor’s banking on the new and improved technology, materials and system of operating the Roziere balloon.  His aircraft will be built in England at Cameron Balloons Ltd.

The flight is scheduled to start in Australia in June 2016.  Starting the journey in winter eliminates the risk of being caught in tropical storms or cyclones.  Fedor has selected Northam as a tentative location for beginning the flight.  While circumnavigating the globe Fedor will pass over Australia - Tasman Sea - New Zealand- Pacific Ocean - South America (Chile, Argentina) -  Atlantic Ocean - South Africa - Indian Ocean – and land in Australia.

Official sponsor of this project Russian building company MORTON - http://www.morton.ru 

More stories about the project:

www.itv.com

www.bristolpost.co.uk

www.bbc.com

sputniknews.com

www.prothom-alo.com

au.news.yahoo.com

www.religionenlibertad.com

www.sbs.com.au

www.fai.org

www.spiegel.de

www.thetimes.co.uk

www.npr.org


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