He Made It! Frenchman Crosses Channel on ‘Flyboard’


A daredevil French inventor succeeded Sunday in his second attempt to cross the English Channel on a jet-powered hoverboard, taking off from the northern French coast amid a crowd of onlookers.

Franky Zapata, 40, has to swap out his backpack full of kerosene by landing on a boat about halfway through the expected 20-minute trip toward St. Margaret’s Bay in Dover, on England’s southern coast.

Zapata failed to pull off the tricky refueling maneuver during the first attempt on his Flyboard July 25, hitting the platform and tumbling into the waters of the busy shipping lane.

He hopes to make the 35-kilometer (22-mile) crossing at an average speed of 140 kilometers an hour (87 mph) and at a height of 15-20 meters (50-65 feet) above the water.

This time the refueling boat will be bigger and have a larger landing area, and French navy vessels in the area will again be keeping an eye out in case of trouble. 

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