Tuesday, July 23, 2019

French Inventor to Try to Cross English Channel Riding Jet-Powered Hoverboard

We visited this fellow last week after the Bastille Day débâcle (ours, not his).
From Sputnik:
The inventor of the Flyboard Air, Franky Zapata, said he plans to cross the English Channel on Thursday, marking the 110th anniversary of the first airplane flight between Britain and France.
Zapata, 40, expects to cross from Sangatte near Calais to St Margaret’s Bay near Dover in 20 minutes, refuelling halfway and reaching speeds of up to 86.9 mph (140km/h).

“It’s the realisation of a dream,” the inventor told Le Parisien, adding that he was “very stressed”. He noted that his last flight, a demonstration over the crowds at Bastille Day in front of the president, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and other European leaders, used about 3 percent of the hoverboard’s capabilities, compared with 99.9 percent for the Channel crossing, and he estimates that there is only a 30 percent chance of  success.

Zapata said his flight had been approved by civil aviation authorities but not maritime officials, who insisted stationing a ship to refuel the flyboard would pose a risk to shipping in the busy Channel.
“We have advised against the crossing because it is extremely dangerous given the traffic in the Channel, one of the busiest (shipping) straits in the world,” the French maritime authority said, cited by The Guardian....