Greatest distance flown by a balloon solo
Fedor Konyukhov
Australia (Bonnie Rock)

On 12-23 July 2016, adventurer Fedor Konyukhov (Russia) independently flew around the world non-stop in an R-550 hot-air balloon named Morton (after the sponsor), covering a total distance of 33,521.4 kilometres (20,829.2 miles) as verified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). He took off from Northam in Western Australia, and landed at Bonnie Rock also in Western Australia. This surpassed the previous solo record held by the late American balloonist Steve Fossett by about 326 kilometres (203 miles).

Multi record-breaker Konyukhov completed the circumnavigation in just 268 hours 20 minutes, also making it the fastest circumnavigation by balloon as approved by the FAI.

On 9 February 2017, Konyukhov, along with Ivan Menyaylo (Russia), also set the record for longest-duration non-stop hot-air balloon flight with a time of 55 hr 9 min 57 sec– beating the previous record, which had stood since 1997, by 4 hr 37 min.

The all-time ballooning distance record for a crewed balloon is 40,814 km (25,361 mi) set by duo Bertrand Piccard (Switzerland) and Brian Jones (UK), who piloted the Breitling Orbiter 3 from 1 to 21 March 1999.

Ballooning is not the only discipline where Konyukhov likes to push the envelope. He also achieved the first solo circumnavigation of Antarctica and the fastest time to row the South Pacific solo (east to west.