Russian balloonist breaks round-the-world record

Photo: AP


A Russian balloonist has set a new record for flying non-stop around the world, his support crew have said, the BBC reports.

Fyodor Konyukhov’s balloon was said to have passed directly over the airfield in the Australian town of Northam where he began his journey 11 days ago.

If his record is confirmed by the World Air Sports Federation he will have taken more than two days off the record set by American Steve Fossett in 2002.

Konyukhov, who is 65, is expected to land later on Saturday.

Konyukhov’s route took him from Australia to above New Zealand, the Pacific Ocean, South America, the Cape of Good Hope and the Southern Ocean.

His crew said the balloon, which is 56m (183ft) tall and uses helium and hot air, covered the route in 11 days and six hours, beating Fossett’s record by more than two days.

The American, who also started from Northam, took 13 days and eight hours in setting his record.

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