Adventurer drops into Bristol balloon factory ahead of around-the-world record attempt

Russian adventurer to visit factory in Bristol where around-the-world balloon is being built ahead of world record attempt. Credit: ITV West Country

A renowned Russian adventurer, Fedor Konyukhov is visiting Cameron Balloons in Bristol to see the hot air balloon, he will use in his solo attempt to set a world record for flying around the world.

If successful, Fedor will become the second person to fly a balloon around the world after Steve Fossett became the first man to complete the journey in 2002.

The Russian adventurer hopes that developments in technology and design since then will mean he is able to set a new world record and complete the journey faster than Fossett, who took 15 days.

Fedor's son, Oscar Konyukhov explains that it's his dad's dream.

Fedor's balloon is currently still under construction at the world's largest hot air balloon manufacturer, based in Bristol. The company Bristol were contracted to develop the unique vessel for the famous 64 year old adventurer who plans to circumnavigate the globe later this year.

The adventurer will travel in a specially made balloon, 55 metres in height.

Today's visit is the first time Fedor has seen the vessel, giving him the opportunity to see it in production at the factory where he'll also get some hands-on training.

The Roziere 550 balloon will use a combination of a helium and hot air, to allow the balloon to fly on hot air during the day and use helium to continue to fly at height at night.

But Cameron Balloons in Bedminster are used to World Record Attempts - they've made the only two balloons to have travelled around the world including Fossett's solo flight.

Below the balloon, Fedor will travel in a gondola which will house all of his operational instruments and survival apparatus. The gondola will serve a dual purpose, also acting as a life raft should the balloon land on water.


  • Oxygen supplies

  • Flight communication

  • Navigational instruments

  • A sleeping bunk

  • Water supplies

  • Food rations

  • Life-saving equipment

  • First-aid kit

  • Clothing

But this isn't Fedor's first dramatic adventure. He's already made a name for himself having spent 160 days at sea in a rowing boat and climbing the world's highest mountain, but this will be his first adventure in the air.