TULA, January 25. /TASS/. Russian adventurer Fyodor Konyukhov and Master of Sports fellow flyer Ivan Menyailo have beaten the world hot-air ballooning record, logging more than 29 hours flying over central European Russia.
After more than 400 kilometres and 150 metres above Tula, Moscow and Ryazan regions, the partners have now beaten the previous 29 hours, 14 minutes and 35 seconds international best, currently credited to American aviator William Bussey, set in January 1993.
They will probably land in the Vladimir region.
Earlier on Monday, Konyukhov and Menyailo made it into Russia's flying annals, beating the 17 hours and 49 minute flight made by Russian pilot Vladimir Gladkov in February 2013.
"They are flying at 150 metres, covering 10 kilometres an hour," a mission organiser told TASS as the balloonists' progress tracks online at Konyukhov's website.
The partners took to the air at Tula region's Sonino airfield, hoping for frosty, calm weather to save fuel and keep them airborne longer.
Konyukhov, ordained as a Russian Orthodox priest in December 2010, has some 50 spectacular exploits to his name. These include two ascents to Mount Everest and climbs to the highest peaks of all other continents, traversing the Atlantic rowing alone for 46 days, dog sleighing 16 days across 800 kilometres in Greenland, touring single-handed around Antarctica and solo rowing on a 159-day Pacific passage.
More trips are planned into the future, he has already advised TASS - the last one slated to mark his 90th birthday.