Active + Adventure

The World's Highest Destinations

by Jonathan Trew

A MiG-29 fighter jet, the outer troposphere

High Notes: For the ultimate high—with the added adrenaline rush of supersonic speed—take the controls of a piece of military hardware previously reserved for the USSR's top guns. American company Incredible Adventures takes civilians up in MiG-29 Fulcrum planes piloted by Russian test pilots. The flights take off from an airstrip outside the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod and quickly climb 13 miles to an altitude that the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics refers to as "near space," pilots refer to "no-man's-land," and civilians refer to as "truly terrifying." The pressure suit all passengers have to wear won't please the most style-conscious man about town, but it will prevent his rib cage from collapsing. Besides, a brief episode of sartorial inelegance seems a small price to pay for seeing the curvature of the earth. However, the actual price of the 45-minute flight—$21,500 and up—is a bit higher.

From $21,500 (includes the flight, a cockpit video and photographs, transfers to and from Moscow to the air base, and use of a pressure suit)

Next: Heaven's gate on the Argentine/Chilean border >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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