Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Flyboard Inventor Fails In Cross-Channel Bid

BBC News:– A French inventor has failed in his attempt to cross the English Channel on a jet-powered flyboard.

Franky Zapata, a former jet-ski champion, had been hoping to cross from northern France to southern England in just 20 minutes.

But the 40-year-old fell into the water halfway across as he tried to land on a boat to refuel.

He took off from near Calais on Thursday morning and was heading for St Margaret’s Bay in Dover.

Mr Zapata was not injured when he fell.

“It is a huge disappointment,” a member of his team told France’s BFM TV shortly after the flight. “He must have missed the platform by just a few centimetres.”

“We practiced this manoeuvre dozens of times in heavier seas,” he added.

The attempt took place exactly 110 years since Louis Blériot made the first powered flight across the Channel in 1909.

Mr Zapata set off from the beach at Sangatte, near Calais, at about 09:00 local time (07:00 GMT) on Thursday. The exact timing was dependent on the weather conditions and shipping traffic.

He was aiming to keep an average speed of 87mph (140km/h) while travelling 15-20m (50-65ft) above the water.

Crowds gathered at the beach to watch the attempt. Shortly after setting off, Mr Zapata disappeared from view as a helicopter followed closely behind him.

But just minutes later it was announced that he had failed.

“We created a new way of flying. We don’t use wings. You are like a bird, it is your body that is flying. It is a boyhood dream,” he told reporters ahead of the flight.

But he warned that the wind could make the 22-mile (35km) crossing “more complex”.

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

The invention, which is about the size of a skateboard, is powered by five small jet engines and fuelled by kerosene which is kept in the rider’s backpack.

Headlines

PM Announces Thrust To Facilitate Saint Lucian Investors

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has discounted the notion that Invest Saint Lucia facilitates only foreign direct investment, while announcing plans to facilitate Saint Lucian...

Methodist School Teachers ‘Walk Off The Job’

The Ministry of Education has informed parents and guardians of student attending the Gordon and Walcott Methodist combined school that teachers have walked off...

Three Male Inmates Assault Female At BCF

Three male inmates assaulted a female detainee at Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) Monday afternoon about 12.10 pm, Director of Corrections Hilary Herman has disclosed. "It...

Jet Ski Operator Found Dead With Bullet Wound Behind Ear

Police are investigating the death of a Jet Ski operator identified as Burke Baptiste, whose body was found at La Caye, Dennery Tuesday morning,...
We're moving from WhatsApp. Join Our New Notification ChannelJoin
+ +