Inventor flies hoverboard across English Channel
by Hannah Harris
Posted 8/05/19, 01:21 pm
There are many ways to cross the English Channel, including ferries, the “Chunnel,” and the freestyle stroke. But Franky Zapata came up with a new mode of channel transport on Sunday, flying his kerosene-fueled hoverboard the 22 miles in 22 minutes, with just one stop to refuel. The French Flyman and his team had worked 16-hour days after a failed refueling attempt last month landed him in the channel’s frigid waters. Mark Kerr, a 60-year-old hospital librarian from Dover, England, said the successful flight was an unusual sight: “Not everyday you see a man standing up, flying across the Channel, being chased by three helicopters.”
Are we back to the future? Maybe, because the 40-year-old former Jet Ski champion now plans to build a flying car. The French Defense Procurement Agency has already invested $1.4 million in Zapata’s hoverboard development. French armed forces minister Florence Parly said the jet-powered craft could be used as “a flying logistical platform or, indeed, as an assault platform.”
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Hannah is a WORLD reporter based in Asheville, N.C.