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Sat, 07 Dec 2019 04:29 GMT

Flying Frenchman Aces English Channel

Science & Technology

7Dnews London

Sun, 04 Aug 2019 12:27 GMT

French inventor Franky Zapata on Sunday August 4th succeeded in crossing the English Channel on a jet-powered hoverboard, which he spent years developing, only ten days after his previous bid failed, AFP has reported.

Zapata, 40, took off on his "Flyboard" from Sangatte on the northern coast of France at 8:17 am (0617 GMT), for the 35-kilometre (22-mile), trip to St. Margaret's, near Dover, on a little platform, powered by five small jet engines, and carrying kerosene in a backpack.

Escorted by three helicopters, he reached Britain after a stop on a boat halfway to refuel. He landed safely 22 minutes later, in the picturesque bay close to Dover on Britain's southern coast, to the applause of dozens of onlookers and reporters.

"For the last five to six kilometres I just really enjoyed it," Zapata told reporters on arrival. "Whether this is a historic event or not, I'm not the one to decide that, time will tell.

"We made a machine three years ago...and now we've crossed the Channel, it's crazy," he said, before breaking into tears.

Zapata is former jet-ski champion who made his first attempt on July 25th, but the bid was cut short, when he tumbled into the water, after failing to land on a boat to refuel.