Russian Balloonists Break World Record

PHOTO by Vladimir Smirnov / TASS

Russian balloonists Fedor Konyukhov and Ivan Menyailo broke the world record for the longest nonstop flight in a hot air balloon, according to

On Feb. 9, the travelers landed near the town of Krasny Kut in the Saratov region, spending a total of 55 hours in the sky. They took off from Rybinsk in the Yaroslavl region and flew more than a thousand kilometres.

According to Konyukhov, the second night was the most difficult part of the flight. Due to the cold weather, the outer part of the balloon was covered in ice, which affected its weight and increased fuel consumption.

Japanese balloonists Michio Kanda and Hirazuki Takezava, who managed to fly non-stop for 50 hours and 38 minutes, held the previous world record for 20 years.

Konyukhov and Menyailo surpassed the Russian record for flight duration on the morning of Feb. 8. The duo had set the previous Russian record in 2015.