• Franky Zapata flies into history, crosses English Channel by hoverboard in 22 minutes

    By: Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    French inventor and former jet ski champion Franky Zapata flew into the history books Sunday when he crossed the English Channel on his kerosene-powered hoverboard.

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    Zapata took off from Sangette, near Calais on the northern coast of France, and landed in Dover, making the 22-mile crossing between France and the United Kingdom in 22 minutes, the BBC reported.


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    "I'm feeling happy. ... It's just an amazing moment in my life," Zapata told reporters after completing the feat on his second attempt, according to The Associated Press.

     

     

    He had problems refueling his jet pack on his first try July 25 and dropped into the sea just shy of reaching his refueling boat in the channel.

    This time he just switched backpacks during the crossing, removing the need to land midflight.
    He told the crowds in Dover his hoverboard reached speeds of over 100 mph, according to the BBC.

    Zapata and his flyboard first sparked widespread interest when he demonstrated the flying machine at a Bastille Day celebration last month.

    The French military has taken an interest in Zapata’s invention and recently gave Zapata’s company, Z-Air, a $1.4 million grant to help it develop the technology, the BBC reported.
     


     

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