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  1. ITV Report

Bristol firm could build the biggest ever balloon

Will this be the biggest balloon ever built? Credit: Cameron Balloons

A Russian balloonist who teamed up with Cameron Balloons to complete a solo, non-stop round the world record has revealed a new target - to build the biggest balloon ever made.

Fedor Konyukhov and Bristol-based Cameron will join forces to design and build a balloon capable of breaking the record for the highest altitude ever achieved. The current record is around 70,000 feet.

Fedor Konyukhov and Bristol-based balloon maker Don Cameron Credit: ITV News

"I always dreamt of being an astronaut," Fedor told ITV News West Country. "I became a balloon pilot instead but I still hold the dream of seeing the curve of the planet beneath me and the black sky of the cosmos above."

Backed by Russian business, the flight is planned for next September, if the £700,000 costs can be met.

Don Cameron, whose company designed the balloon that holds the current record, says technology has advanced to such a degree that a new altitude record is now possible.

The air is so thin at that height so you need a bigger balloon with more air in it - a balloon 30 times that of one that could give the same lift at sea level.

– Don Cameron
The Gondola design Credit: Cameron Balloons

In July, Fedor completed a new world-record for a solo, non-stop flight around the world in a time of 11 days; 5 hrs 32mins, with a distance flown of 32,996km.