MOSCOW (Sputnik) — He will attempt to circumvent the world under 13 days to beat US aviator Steve Fossett's record, who completed the only successful solo quest around the globe in a hot air balloon in 2002.
The 65-year-old Russian adventurer plans to cover 20,500 miles, flying from Australia over New Zealand to South America and South Africa before landing back in Australia, according to local broadcaster ABC.
He will cross three Oceans on the way.
Konyukhov will be travelling in a small gondola carried by his 170-feet helium balloon. His son Oscar Konyukhov and around 30 volunteers saw him off. Oscar told reporters the quest took two years to prepare. He said he would be tracking his father's whereabouts through a satellite tracker.