On July 18 at 11:30 (UTC) the MORTON balloon and its pilot, Fedor Konyukhov, completed the crossing of the Pacific Ocean from continent (Australia) to continent (South America).
Fedor Konyukhov became the second pilot in history to cross the Pacific Ocean solo nonstop in a balloon.
Before Fedor only Steve Fossett had crossed the Pacific Ocean solo: once in the northern Pacific and twice in the southern Pacific.
Here is a recent historical timeline of attempted balloon crossings:
1995. Northern Hemisphere. American pilot Steve Fossett took off from Seoul, Korea in a Roziere (R150) balloon, landing in Canada. Fossett covered a distance of 8748 kilometres in 102 hours.
2001. Southern Hemisphere. Steve Fossett departed from Northam, Australia in a Roziere (R550) balloon in an attempt at an around the world trip. Having crossed the Pacific Ocean, Fossett was forced to land in Brazil 300 hours and 19,260 km after take-off due to technical problems.
2002. Southern Hemisphere as part of Steve Fossett’s successful solo circumnavigation.
It is unbelievable that since Steve Fossett there have been no successful solo nonstop crossings of the Pacific Ocean in a balloon of any kind (hot air, gas or Roziere).
On July 14, 2016 (15:20 UTC) Fedor Konyukhov’s balloon cleared the East Coast of Australia, and on July 18, 2016 (11:30 UTC), it crossed the coast line on the other side of the Pacific to enter Chilean airspace. The total flying time of the Pacific crossing took 92 hours and 10 minutes, with preliminary calculations indicating the average speed over the ocean was 142 kilometres per hour, and the distance travelled was 13,070 kilometres. The MORTON balloon’s flight will be thoroughly analysed upon landing. Though it is early days, we would like to believe that the flight has set a new benchmark for South Pacific crossing.
You can follow the balloon’s path here: https://my.yb.tl/RRTW2016
You can also view the route map at www.iridium360.ru
The official website for the project “Around the world in a Roziere balloon “Morton” can be found at a flyfedor.ru
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