A French inventor has successfully crossed the Channel on his jet-powered hoverboard for the first time.

Franky Zapata took off from Sangatte in northern France at 7.15am BST on Sunday, and landed at St Margaret’s Bay in Dover around 25 minutes later.

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This is the second attempt at the 21-mile Channel crossing for the inventor, who failed on his first effort back in July.

Franky Zapata lands after crossing the Channel
Franky Zapata lands after crossing the Channel

He was carrying enough kerosene in his backpack to fuel the hoverboard for about 10 minutes in the air, and needed to strap on a new supply for the second leg of his journey.

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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.

French flyboarder said he will attempt Channel crossing again

French flyboard inventor Franky Zapata says he will try to cross English Channel again after the failure of his first attempt.

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.

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.

More to follow…



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