Flyboarding Frenchman crosses English Channel

Franky Zapata stands on his jet-powered "flyboard" after he took off from Sangatte, northern FranceImage copyright AFP
Image caption Franky Zapata set off from Sangatte on Sunday morning

French inventor Franky Zapata has made the first-ever successful Channel crossing on a jet-powered flyboard.

Mr Zapata, 40, took off from Sangatte, near Calais, at 06:17 GMT on Sunday and landed in St Margaret’s Bay in Dover.

The board’s five turbines, powered by kerosene, propel him to speeds of up to 118 mph (190km/h).

Mr Zapata, a former jet-ski champion, had failed in his first attempt to cross the Channel on 25 July after complications with refuelling.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The French inventor used a fuelling platform around half-way through the crossing

For this latest attempt, a larger boat and refuelling platform were used during the 22-mile (35.4km) journey over the Strait of Dover.

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Media captionInventor Franky Zapata gets the Bastille Day parade off to a flying start

Mr Zapata received widespread attention during the annual Bastille Day parade in Paris last month, when he took part in a military display on his futuristic flyboard.

The invention is about the size of a skateboard. The kerosene fuel is stored in the rider’s backpack.

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