Inventor Crosses the English Channel on a Hoverboard

August 7, 2019 By IdeaConnection

Hoverboard crosses the English ChannelFrench inventor Franky Zapata has succeeded in his second attempt to cross the English Channel (the sea between northern France and southern England) on a jet-powered hoverboard.

He made the 22-mile journey in just 22 minutes.

His invention is powered by a kerosene-filled backpack, but there is only enough fuel to keep him airborne for ten minutes and so he had to stop to refuel halfway through the journey.

Zapata, a former jet-ski champion failed in his first attempt last month when he was knocked off balance. This time around there were no such complications, although strong winds in the Channel provided considerable challenges.

Top Speed

During his aeronautical adventure, he reached speeds of up to 110 miles per hour while flying at around 50 feet to 60 feet above the water. He was escorted by three helicopters.

“I’m feeling happy ... it’s just an amazing moment in my life,” he said to reporters following his touchdown in Britain. “The last 10% [of the flight] was easier ... because I had the time to look at the cliffs.”

Ongoing Developments

The inventor has been developing his hoverboard for three years and continued with it even after losing two fingers in its turbine during its maiden flight in Marseilles.

Zapata is still working to improve on his innovation and hopes that it will one day be able to fly much higher.

Toward the end of last year, the French military gave Zapata's company, Z-AIR a development grant of more than one million dollars.


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