After the first failed attempt 10 days ago (on 25th July), flying Frenchman Franky Zapata has now successfully crossed the English Channel on a jet-powered flyboard on Sunday. He traveled the 22 miles (35-kilometre) from Sangatte on the northern coast of Franc to St. Margaret’s Bay in Dover, England – in some 22 minutes.
The French inventor who spent years developing hoverboard powered by a kerosene-filled backpack said he reached speeds up to 106 mph during his journey.
The most challenging part of the journey was to refuel by switching to another backpack during the crossing. He fell into the sea during his previous attempt, before reaching a boat that was carrying a second backpack. But this time a larger boat and platform was used for the crossing.
Three helicopters kept a watch over Zapata’s attempt. “We made a machine three years ago… and now we’ve crossed the Channel, it’s crazy,” Franky Zapata told reporters, before breaking into tears.
“Whether this is a historic event or not, I’m not the one to decide that, time will tell,” he added.
He also said in an interview that the flyboard could serve several purposes, for example as a flying logistical platform or, indeed, as an assault platform.