MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. The hot air balloon of Russian adventurers Fyodor Konyukhov and Ivan Menyaylo has covered the distance of more than 2,540 kilometers, which is 174 kilometers more than the world distance record set by Japanese explorers in 1994. The aeronauts landed the balloon at the Khatanga airfield in the Krasnoyarsk regions, the expedition headquarters said on Sunday.
"During the transcontinental flight, the PhosAgro balloon piloted by Fyodor Konyukhov and Ivan Menyailo covered a distance of 2,540 km, which is 174 km more than the previous world record in 1994, which belonged to the Japanese pilot Michio Kanda. Thus, now both world records are - in terms of range and duration of a non-stop flight in a thermal balloon, they belong to Russia. Starting early in the morning on March 24 in Kirovsk, the Murmansk region, the balloon at an altitude of 3 to 6 km passed through the airspace of the Murmansk and Arkhangelsk regions, the Nenets and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Districts, and on March 26 at 03:24 Moscow time, it made a pin-point precise landing on the runway of the Khatanga airfield, located in the Krasnoyarsk region, at 72 degrees north latitude, overcoming the Putorana Plateau, which is known for severe weather conditions," a public announcement says.
Konyukhov and Menyaylo made the first flight in the history of Russian aeronautics in an open basket hot air balloon over the sea in the high northern latitudes.
Fyodor Konyukhov is something of a legend in ballooning, holding the world record for the fastest flight around the world in a hot air balloon. For this achievement, he was awarded the ‘The Pilot of the Year’ honor by the International Federation of Aeronautics (FAI) in 2016. While training for the round-the-world flight, Konyukhov and Menyaylo set two world records, having flown initially for 32 hours and then for 55 hours non-stop in a hot air balloon.