Frenchman crosses Channel on jet-powered hoverboard


French inventor Franky Zapata takes off on a “Flyboard” for a second attempt to cross the English Channel in Sangatte, France, on Sunday.

AFPST MARGARET’S BAY, England (AFP-Jiji) — A Frenchman who has spent years developing a jet-powered hoverboard zoomed across the English Channel on Sunday after a first attempt last month was cut short when he fell into the water while trying to refuel.

Franky Zapata set off on his “Flyboard” from Sangatte on the northern coast of France for the 20-minute trip to St. Margaret’s Bay in Dover, on England’s south coast.

Escorted by three helicopters, Zapata glided across the water in the early morning light and landed in the picturesque bay, where dozens of onlookers and journalists awaited him.

The five turbines on the former jet-ski champion’s craft propel him at speeds of up to 190 kph, powered by a backpack full of kerosene that can keep him airborne for around 10 minutes.

He had planned to make the 35-kilometer crossing in 20 minutes, keeping an average speed of 140 kph at a height of 15-20 meters above the water.Speech

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