French inventor Franky Zapata successfully crosses English Channel on jet-powered hoverboard
Tuesday, August 6, 2019
This Sunday, French inventor successfully crossed the on a jet-powered flying device propelled by turbines and attached to his feet, called . The 22-mile (35-km) journey took 22 minutes with one refueling about halfway to , England. This success came on the second attempt by the inventor to cross the Channel. This device was invented three years ago and could reportedly serve military assault or logistics purposes.
The flight started at 8:17 a.m. local time (0617) in and finished in near Dover. Zapata flew across the water at over 100 mph (161 km/h). The inventor carried a backpack with (paraffin} and was escorted by three helicopters. Zapata also made one landing on a boat mid-channel to refill the kerosene fuel in his backpack, a process Zapata described as being tricky because the boat could not be kept still in the moving waters of the Channel.
"Once I managed to stick my heels into the boat, I knew I had done 90% of the work," Zapata told French news channel.
Strong winds over the Channel presented difficulty during the crossing, Zapata said, adding it required much endurance to manage to stay airborne. "It's an isometric exercise for the thighs, so it burns — it's quite hard."
Upon arrival, Zapata told reporters, "We made a machine three years ago... and now we've crossed the Channel, it's crazy."
This was Zapata's second attempt to cross the Channel on the Flyboard Air. On July 25, which was the 110th anniversary of the first plane flight across the Channel by pilot, Zapata fell into the water after a low-speed collision with the resupply boat.
The inventor previously presented the device at themilitary parade earlier this year. In that instance, he had been holding a rifle in his hands to show the invention could be utilized for military purposes.
Franky Zapata also invented the original, which is propelled by jets of water drawn up by a hose, unlike the Flyboard Air, which uses jets of air.
- Ibtissem Guenfoud. "French ‘bird-man’ Franky Zapata successfully crosses English Channel on flyboard" — , August 5, 2019
- "Franky Zapata: Flyboarding Frenchman crosses English Channel" — , August 4, 2019
- Frances Perraudin. "Franky Zapata crosses Channel by hoverboard at second attempt" — , August 4, 2019