Russian Aircraft designer Alexander Begak, 30, will fly an ultra-light aircraft from St. Petersburg to Moscow to mark the 300th anniversary of Russia's imperial capital. This is according to the organizers of the flight, with the International Aviation Center and the ORT television channel among them.
Begak's ambition is to set a nonstop world flight record for this kind of aircraft. He calls his plane "paralet," describing it as a "conceptual low-speed aircraft." It has been invented by students of the Moscow Aviation Institute in association with specialists of the Moscow Space Agency.
The takeoff time has not yet been determined, Begak says. The organizers assure that the flight will start before August 3. The Moscow-bound plane will take off on St. Petersburg's Palace Square. It will take the "paralet" about 20 hours to reach its final destination. The craft will have three video cameras operating on board, for live reports on ORT television and the Internet.
Begak says he may end up landing on Red Square-if Moscow City Hall authorizes it, of course.
The courageous pilot has insured his life for 100,000 dollars.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969