In brief: Never give up after falling at the first attempt. That’s something Franky Zapata, inventor of the jet-powered Flyboard Air hoverboard, believes. After he tried and failed to cross the English Channel on his device last week, he’s set to attempt the crossing again this weekend.
Zapata had announced that he would be flying his “personal aerial vehicle” from Calais in Northern France to St Margaret's Bay in Dover, UK, a total of 22 miles of flight across the English Channel.
Travelling at an average speed of 87 mph, Zapata aimed to complete the journey in 20 minutes, with a single stop on a refueling vessel required at the halfway point. But the attempt failed when waves caused a slight movement of the landing platform as he came in to land, causing Zapata to miss “by a few centimeters” and plunge into the water.
Franky Zapata takes off in his bid to cross from France to England on his flyboard. The Frenchman's attempt failed a short time later when he missed a landing platform to refuel.— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 25, 2019
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According to Associated Press (via France24) Zapata will make a second attempt this Sunday. To help ensure things go more smoothly, a larger refueling boat—a tugboat—will be used, and it will be in French waters, which French maritime authorities had previously disallowed.
Zapata has already shown off clips of him flying though Singapore and around Paris’ Bastille Day Parade on his Flyboard Air, which is powered by five mini turbo engines that can produce around 250 horsepower each. He continues to develop and promote the machine, despite losing two fingers during its maiden flight in his garage, when they were sucked into the turbines.