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French inventor crosses English Channel on Flyboard

Paris, Aug 4 (IANS) French inventor Franky Zapata on Sunday managed to cross the English Channel on his Flyboard, a single-person platform propelled by five small turbines.

Zapata, 40, took off at 8.16 a.m. from the French town of Sangatte in Pas-de Calais, northern France, and landed roughly 20 minutes later in St. Margaret Bay, Dover, in England, having crossed the 35-km stretch of water, reports Efe news.

He had to make a pit stop on a platform roughly halfway through his journey to refill his fuel kerosene fuel tank, which is stored in his backpack.

It was second time lucky for the former jet ski champion, who on July 25 crashed into the sea during his first attempt at crossing the Channel.

He fell as he landed on a refuelling boat.

Had he succeeded at the time, the feat would have marked exactly 110 years since Louis Blériot first crossed the Channel by plane.

Following the failure, he returned to his workshop in Marseille to repair the damaged device.

Zapata developed the Flyboard in cooperation with the French Armed Forces, which said it could one day used the device in urban warfare.

The invention shot onto the scene on July 14 during the Bastille Day Parade in Paris when Zapata made a spectacular appearance on his Flyboard, hovering over the Place de la Concorde before coming to land next to the French President Emmanuel Macron.

The Flyboard can fly at a top speed of 190 kph and has a travel time of about 10 minutes.

Zapata has also invented a hoverboard and a jetpack.




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