After a failed attempt to fly the “Flyboard Air” hoverboard, Franky Zapata, the inventor of the device, is now successful in the second attempt of crossing the English Channel on his Hoverboard. Earlier, the attempt to fly the hoverboard across the English Channel was held on 25th of July and had ended for about 20 minutes before crashing in the middle of the Channel.
Zapata made the first attempt from Calais on the morning of 25th and had the aim of crossing St. Margaret’s Bay in around 20 minutes. He had previously stated that he had only a 30 percent chance of having success in this attempt. Though it has been clearly known from this attempt that controlling a hoverboard is no child’s game. It is a tough job and, as said by the inventor, “would take around 50-100 hours of practice to just stand properly in the hoverboard” and flying with it, is another giant’s task.
The hoverboard which was used by Zapata in the first attempt was powered by 5 mini turbo engines which produced power of around 250 horsepower individually and can have a maximum speed of approx. 118mph. apart from that, the Flyboard Air has a fuel tank which has to be filled with kerosene in order to operate the device. As the hoverboard had a limited length and strength, Zapata had to stop for refueling the tank, for the crossing to be completed. The stoppage was situated in the middle of the Channel, which had earlier raised concerns as it is the busiest part of the Channel and any accident can cause a lot of harm.
While trying to land on the stoppage, Zapata missed the platform by a few inches which resulted in falling into the water. Though Zapata was not injured during the fall but had a shock for sure. Zapata had announced his plans of crossing the Channel in his hoverboard in the annual Bastille Day celebrations which has also been the key of interest of the French military, which can be used as a logistical tool in the near future if the second attempt becomes a success. According to sources, the Flyboard Air also has the French government defense and procurement agency as one of its investors.
The second attempt was held on 4th August which had the same route as in the previous one. The difference would be that this time the refueling stoppage is at a different spot than the last one so that any possibility of the crash could be avoided. The team also used a bigger boat for the stoppage, for precautions. The lessons have been learned from past mistakes and now became successful in crossing the channel. Franky Zapata became the first man to cross the English Channel in a flying hoverboard.
“I had the chance to land in an extraordinary place. It’s beautiful. My first thought was to my family. It was huge. Thanks to my wife who always supports me in crazy projects. We worked very hard,” Franky Zapata told CNN.