04 August 2019 |Frances Perraudin | The Guardian
03 August 2019 | Euronews and AP | Euronews
French inventor Franky Zapata will attempt to cross the English Channel on a jet-powered hoverboard on Sunday (04 August 2019)— a week after his first bid ended in failure.
Zapata will once again depart from the French town of Sangatte and hopes to reach an area near Dover for a journey of about 36 kilometres.
His first attempt, on July 25, failed halfway through when he missed a landing platform mounted on a boat on which he was meant to refuel. Up to that point, he had been flying at 140 kilometres per hour at an altitude of between 15 to 20 metres.
“I’m feeling good, I’m just feeling very tired. We worked 16 hours per day to build a new fly boarder,” Zapata said at a press conference on Saturday.
“I just want to do it this time,” he added.
A technician after the first attempt that the waves had been to blame for Zapata’s failure to safely land on the boat.
This time around, the team built “a bigger boat” and “a bigger platform”, Zapata said on Saturday. He said everyone who worked on the team was very motivated.
He also insisted that safety was a priority.
The Frenchman became known as the “flying soldier” when he showed off his invention before the world’s media at France’s Bastille Day military parade on July 14.