French inventor crosses English Channel on ′Flyboard′ | News | DW | 04.08.2019
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French inventor crosses English Channel on 'Flyboard'

Franky Zapata flew at speeds of up to 190 kilometers per hour during his successful crossing on the state-of-the-art hoverboard. He "really enjoyed" the last leg of the 35-kilometer voyage across the English Channel.

French inventor Franky Zapata on Sunday successfully crossed the English Channel on his Flyboard Air, a jet-powered hovering device he created.

"For the last five to six kilometers, I just really enjoyed it," Zapata said when he arrived in England.

Zapata had failed his first attempt in July. At the time, his hoverboard hit part of a boat-mounted landing platform, effectively knocking him over into the water.

On Sunday, however, Zapata made the 35-kilometer (21.5 mile) crossing from the French seaside town of Sangatte to St. Margaret's Bay in Dover, England in less than half an hour.

Read more: Electric scooters' rollout off to a bumpy start in Germany

Franky Zapata hovers over a crowd near Calais, France

Zapata has described his innovative technology as a "new way of flying"

'It's crazy'

The French inventor propelled himself across the channel at speeds of up to 190 kilometers per hour (118 miles per hour). Despite safety concerns from French authorities, he successfully landed in just over 20 minutes.

"Whether this is a historic event or not, I'm not the one to decide that, time will tell," Zapata said. "We made a machine three years ago and now we've crossed the Channel, it's crazy."

Zapata made waves in July when he hovered over Paris' Place de la Concorde carrying a rifle during France's Bastille Day celebrations.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said the defense ministry is looking at ways to integrate Zapata's invention into the country's armed forces.

Read more: Stratolaunch: World's largest aircraft completes first test flight

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Franky Zapata on his Flyboard during the Bastille Day military parade

Franky Zapata became a worldwide sensation when he hovered over central Paris carrying a rifle during a military parade

ls/aw (AFP, Reuters)