With a Toyota Hilux behind the scenes, acting as the official vehicle of his journey, Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov has set a new world record for circumnavigating the globe non-stop in a hot air balloon.
During his expedition, Konyukhov’s balloon was airborne for 11 days straight, travelling the distance of 34,950 km (21,717 miles), during which it flew over the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans, it approached Antarctica, went across Australia, South America and Africa. The Russian smashed the previous record, set by American Steve Fosset 14 years ago, by almost two days, thus becoming a source of inspiration for many people, including his son.
“I’m extremely proud of my father! It’s hard to grasp the scope of what he managed to achieve. To complete a record-breaking non-stop circumnavigation in a hot air balloon from the first attempt is one chance in a million. And he did just that“, said Oscar, Fedor’s son.
As with most great adventures, a particular machine stands out, a Toyota Hilux in this case, which accompanied the Russian in all preparations to the around-the-world flight, supporting the training phase in his home country, going to the pre-flight preparations and preventing the balloon from a premature take-off while helium was being bumped into the envelope. The workhorse’s own adventure ended when it was among the first to arrive at the landing side, with Konyukhov’s team onboard.