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Priest in world record attempt to reach space by hot air balloon

14/11/2019 philip Hot Air Balloons Pilots

Ukrainian adrenaline junkie Fyodor Konyukhov is no stranger to achieving daredevil feats of human endurance, but his latest endeavour promises to be one of his most audacious yet.

The 67-year-old adventurer – who is also a Russian Orthodox priest – is set to attempt a high-altitude hot air balloon record by flying 2 km above the Earth to the edge of space to see the curvature of the planet from the skies.

Konyukhov has already travelled to both the North and South poles, completed a solo trip around the southern hemisphere by rowing boat, and climbed the highest mountains on all seven continents. His new exploit will push his body to the limit as ascends to where there is only 2% atmosphere.

A Bristol-based hot air balloon manufacturer has helped Konyukhov plan his feat. The balloon, known as Z3500, is made from 9km of lightweight fabric and stands at 68 meters tall when inflated, making it larger than a space shuttle and over twice as long as an Airbus A308.

This vast balloon will take to the skies from Western Australia and will try to beat the current world record for high altitude ascent, which was set in 2005 at 21km by an Indian national who was also flying a Bristolian balloon.

If you want to explore the wonders of planet Earth from above without teetering on the edge of space, we can offer hot air balloon adventures across Bath, Gloucester, Bristol and other parts of the South West.

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