Flyboard inventor attempts English 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. Zapata failed in his attempt to cross the English Channel on a jet-powered hoverboard when he was knocked into...more
Zapata lifted off near the northern port of Calais with 42 liters of kerosene in his backpack, enough for about 10 minutes of flight. He planned to strap on a new backpack on a vessel waiting midway across the 35-km wide Strait of Dover. ...more
Zapata was making his attempt on the 110th anniversary of the first powered flight between Britain and France. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
Zapata had received a 1.3 million euro grant from the French army in late 2018 to help finance the development of the hoverboard, which is powered by five small jet engines. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
Zapata took off from Sangatte, France, at 0706 GMT. Flying at up to 87 mph (140 kph) at an altitude of between 50 to 65 feet (15 to 20 meters) he had hoped to reach to Dover in about 20 minutes. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
He disappeared from spectators' view within moments, trailed by a helicopter, but minutes later his team announced the attempt had failed. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
On July 25, 1909, Frenchman Louis Bleriot became the first man to fly across the Channel in an airplane. Since then, Channel crossings have become a rite of passage for all kinds of new aircraft. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
Zapata, a champion on jetski-powered waterboards, steers his craft by leaning forward or backward and controls thrust with a throttle connected to his 1,500-horsepower board. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
"It is a huge disappointment. He made his rendezvous with the refueling boat, but the landing platform hit the flyboard, which threw him off balance and knocked him into the water," support crew member Stephane Denis told BFM television. ...more
French inventor Franky Zapata poses with a Flyboard during a news conference as he prepares to cross the English channel from Sangatte in France to Dover. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
French inventor Franky Zapata checks a Flyboard before a demonstration as he prepares to cross the English channel. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
Zapata flies on a Flyboard during a demonstration as he prepares to cross the English channel. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
Zapata had wowed crowds during France's July 14 Bastille Day celebrations, flying over a military parade on Paris' Place de la Concorde in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. REUTERS/Charles...more
Zapata performs over the ground with his Flyboard during the Breitling Airshow in Sion, Switzerland, September 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Zapata breaks the Guinness World Records of the farthest flight by hoverboard with the IPU Flyboard Air after covering a distance of 2,252.4 meters (7,389.76 ft) with an average speed of 50-60km/h in Sausset les Pins near Marseille, France, April...more
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