French hoverboard pioneer attempts Channel crossing
French inventor Franky Zapata takes off on a Flyboard to cross the English channel from Sangatte to Dover, in Sangatte, France, July 25, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
PARIS (Reuters) – A French man on a jet-powered hoverboard of his own design started an attempt to cross the English Channel between France and Britain on Thursday.
Standing on a platform powered by five small jet engines, Franky Zapata took off from Sangatte, France at 0706 GMT and hopes to reach to Dover in about 20 minutes, flying at up to 140 kilometers (87 miles) per hour at an altitude of between 15 to 20 meters.
He carried about 42 liters of kerosene in his backpack and will stop midway on a ship to refuel his “Flyboard”.
Zapata wowed crowds on July 14 Bastille Day, flying over a military parade on Paris’ Place de la Concorde in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky