A French inventor is to make a second attempt to cross the English Channel on a jet-powered hoverboard.

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Franky Zapata missed a landing platform mounted on a boat as he tried to land midway across the Channel to refuel in July.

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Now after changing refuelling arrangements, he hopes to give himself the best chance of a successful crossing on Sunday.

The 40-year-old former jet ski champion is aiming to cross the 22-mile Channel in around 20 minutes


Watch: Moment hoverboard inventor takes off

Mr Zapata will be aiming again to reach St Margaret’s Bay in Dover after taking off near Calais.

He said: “I just want to do it this time, we changed the boat, we took a bigger boat and built a bigger platform.”

Mr Zapata will be carrying enough kerosene in his backpack to fuel the hoverboard for about 10 minutes in the air, and as on his failed 25 July crossing, will need to strap on a new supply for the second leg of his journey.

The 40-year-old former jet ski champion is expected to take off from France at around 6am GMT, making first for the refuelling vessel midway across the 22-mile (35.4km) wide Strait of Dover.

French flyboarder said he will attempt Channel crossing again

Flyboarder will attempt crossing again

Mr Zapata steers his Flyboard aircraft, which flies at up to 87mph, by leaning forwards or backwards, and controls thrust with a throttle connected to his 1,500 horsepower board.

His invention won global acclaim when he flew over France’s Bastille Day celebrations in Paris on 14 July, with the French President Emmanuel Macron later tweeting a video of his exploits.

Zapata CEO Franky Zapata flies a jet-powered hoverboard or "Flyboard" prior to the Bastille Day military parade down the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2019. (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP) (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)

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The inventor was given a grant of more than £1m from the French government to develop the technology behind his hoverboard.

His failed attempt was on the 110th anniversary of Louis Bleriot’s 1909 Channel crossing – the first time anyone had crossed the Channel in a “heavier-than-air” aircraft.



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