Bristol

Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov visits city balloon-maker

Fedor Konyukhov Image copyright RU 24 News feed
Image caption Mr Konyukhov is due to make his world record attempt in the summer

A Russian adventurer has visited the Bristol factory making a helium balloon for his world record attempt to circumnavigate the globe.

Fedor Konyukhov, 64, is due to set off from Northam, Australia, in a craft designed by Cameron Balloons of Bedminster.

Konyukhov will try to beat by about 48 hours the late American Steve Fossett's 2002 record of just under 15 days.

Cameron's gondola design carries control, navigation systems and oxygen.

Image caption The gondola has been designed with a sealed hatch, and will float if it lands in the ocean

The design and build will be similar to that used by Mr Fossett, but with more modern materials and technology.

Image copyright Cameron Balloons
Image caption The set-up will be similar to that used by Steve Fossett in 2002

It will also house a sleeping bunk, water supplies, food rations, life-saving emergency equipment, first aid supplies and clothing.

Mr Konyukhov said he had chosen Cameron as its staff were "the key people" to rely on.

Image copyright Cameron Balloons

Konyukhov has received a good luck message from Sir Richard Branson who said he was "enormously excited" about the plans.

Sir Richard's own attempt at a round-the-world balloon flight ended with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean in December 1998.

Konyukhov said he hoped to "inspire unity" and remind young people to "stay romantic, no matter what your age".

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