CALAIS, FRANCE – Flying Frenchman Franky Zapata made aviation history on Sunday August 4, 2019 by crossing the English Channel on his Flyboard Air. This was Zapata’s second attempt to cross the Channel, after he failed 10 days ago, on July 25. Zapata’s dream came true on Sunday, when he became the first man in history to cross the English Channel flying on a jet-powered hoverboard, Frank Zapata’s Flyboard Air.
Ten days ago Zapata missed a landing platform mounted on a vessel, as he tried to land midway for refuelling to change the 37 kg backpack – containing the Flyboard’s kerosene. The Frenchman fell into the sea on the English side of the Channel, but was rescued by divers. He had no injuries.
As soon as Franky Zapata returned to the French coast, he was determined to try again as soon as possible. Only ten days later the French hero made aviation history.
Sunday morning at 8:16 AM Local Time, Zapata took off with his Flyboard Air – in front of a cheering crowd – from Sangatte, near Calais in France towards the White Cliffs of Dover at St. Margaret’s bay. The 40-year-old Frenchman looked just like The Green Goblin – Spider-man’s greatest enemy – when he was soaring through the skies within seconds. He covered a distance of 22 miles (35 kilometers) in 22 minutes and landed safely in St. Margaret’s Bay, near Dover in England.
Zapata said he was very happy and it was one of the most amazing moments in his life. He also revealed how hard the journey physically was as his body had to endure an extreme air resistance, while flying at speeds above 93 mph (150 kph).
Zapata’s assistant and wife got emotional, when the news of his landing reached her. The couple worked very hard the past time to achieve Zapata’s goal to become the first man in history to fly over the English Channel on his Flyboard Air, in honor of French aviator Louis Bleriot, who was the first man ever to fly between France and England – 110 years ago – on July 25, 1909.
Bleriot also took off from Sangatte, but he crossed the Channel with a plane, this 21st century French hero flew just like a bird. A really fast bird.
(Top Image: from euronews video)
Jerry lives southeast of Amsterdam and he is a passionate writer, photographer, videographer, YouTube creator and Ajax Amsterdam fan.
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