Frenchman successfully crosses Channel on 'hoverboard' in second attempt

The five turbines on Zapata's craft propel him at speeds of up to 190 kilometres an hour powered by a backpack full of kerosene that can keep him airborne for around 10 minutes

A man from France has become the first person to successfully cross the English Channel on a hoverboard.

The 40-year-old took off on Sunday morning from Sangatte near Calais, and landed in St Margaret's Bay in Dover after a 20-minute journey.

It was the energetic inventor's second attempt to cross the channel, after his first - 10 days ago - ended with him colliding with a refueling boat several minutes into his flight, destroying his transportation. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.

Franky Zapata of France performs a show with his Flyboard at the International Breitling Sion Airshow, in Sion, Switzerland, 15 September 2017.

A champion on jetski-powered waterboards, Zapata steers his Flyboard Air craft which flies at up to 140 km per hour by leaning forward or backward, and controls thrust with a throttle connected to his 1,500 horsepower board. "I didn't let up on the gas at the right moment".


A larger boat and platform was used for this latest crossing, with an escort by three helicopters.

Zapata's team had been racing to fix the hoverboard after it was damaged from falling in the Channel waters 10 days ago.

Zapata has been developing his hoverboard for the past three years, despite losing two fingers during its maiden flight in his garage near Marseille, when they got sucked into the turbines.

Zapata delighted crowds in Paris on 14 July - Bastille Day - flying over a military parade on the Place de la Concorde in the presence of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

"For the last five to six kilometres I just really enjoyed it", Zapata told reporters on arrival.

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