Bristol,UK-based balloon manufacturer Cameron Balloons has agreed to construct a Roziere 550, which will be filled with helium, to enable famed Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov to try and travel around the word – non-stop.
The balloon is wanted for a launch from Northam in Australia during a specific weather ‘window’ between the May to September 2016 period. Cameron Balloons will build a composite gondola which will house the balloon’s control systems, oxygen supplies, flight communication and navigational instruments, a sleeping-bunk, water supplies, food rations, life-saving emergency equipment, first-aid supplies and clothing, all of which will be flown under a Cameron Balloons Roziere-550 helium/hot-air combination balloon.
This is a similar setup of equipment used by the late American Steve Fossett, who also took-off from Northam and made the first solo circumnavigation of the world by balloon in 2002, in just under 15-days.
“Fedor and his son Oscar visited the factory in Bristol last year and they will be returning again before the end of 2015 to view the construction process and for Fedor to start his Roziere balloon ground-training with Don Cameron,” said Sales Director Nick Purvis.
Organiser and Flight Director will be Alan Noble, who previously filled similar roles with Steve Fossett and Breitling during their successful global flights.
Fedor Konyukhov was born near the Black Sea in December 1951, he is married with three grown-up children. He has successfully completed lots of expeditions, over land and sea in yachts and has even spent 160-days (16,800km) across the Pacific in a rowing boat.
He has climbed some of the world’s highest mountains and trekked in the most inhospitable of environments completing extreme polar expeditions, but he has never adventured before into the air. These amazing feats also seem to provide creative inspiration too as Fedor has published nine books and painted over 3,000 pieces of art.
Fedor started his balloon-training in 2014 and has already with Cameron Balloons’ Russian representative Ivan Menyalo broken the Russian hot-air balloon duration record for the AX-9 (approx. 120,000 cubic foot) sized hot-air balloon flying for over 19 hours and 10minutes in well below freezing temperatures.
Steve Fossett’s world record stands at Northam, Western Australia to Queensland, Australia. 13 days 12 hours 5 minutes (14 days 19 hours 50 minutes to landing), 20,482.26 statute miles (32,963km).