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Frenchman takes off on ‘Flyboard’ for second Channel crossing bid


Franky Zapata stands on his jet-powered “flyboard” as he took off from Sangatte, northern France, on August 4, 2019, in an attempt to fly across the 35-kilometre (22-mile) Channel crossing in 20 minutes, while keeping an average speed of 140 kilometres an hour (87 mph) at a height of 15-20 metres (50-65 feet) above the sea. – Frenchman who has spent years developing a jet-powered hoverboard will again try to zoom across the English Channel on August 4, after a first attempt last month was cut short when a botched refuelling attempt sent him into the water. (Photo by Denis Charlet / AFP)

A daredevil French inventor on Sunday launched his second attempt to cross the English Channel on a jet-powered hoverboard, taking off from the northern French coast amid a crowd of onlookers.

Franky Zapata, 40, will again try to swap out his backpack full of kerosene by landing on a boat about halfway through the expected 20-minute trip toward St. Margaret’s Bay in Dover, on England’s southern coast.

Zapata failed to pull off the tricky refuelling manoeuvre during the first attempt on his “Flyboard” on July 25, hitting the platform and tumbling into the waters of the busy shipping lane.

He hopes to make the 35-kilometre (22-mile) crossing at an average speed of 140 kilometres an hour (87 mph) and at a height of 15-20 metres (50-65 feet) above the water.

This time the refuelling boat will be bigger and have a larger landing area, and French navy vessels in the area will again be keeping an eye out in case of trouble.

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