As with Louis Bleriot crossing the English Channel in 1909, the eyes of the world were on Franky Zapata as he attempted to be the first to fly a jet-powered hoverboard across the English Channel. Well, that’s all true except “the eyes of the world” part. The attempt itself, on Zapata’s “flyboard,” a jet-powered device you stand on while flying not all that low over land or sea, was a little questionable. So far as a record was concerned it’s kind of sketchy. The Flyboard needed to get some more fuel halfway across, not an option for Bleriot, and that’s where things went wrong. In a maneuver Zapata, a world-class jet skier, says he’s done dozens of times, his attempt at an aerial refueling went awry and everything got wet. Zapata was’t injured in the crash, and he says he’s ready to go again first chance he gets.
In all honesty, the Flyboard is wicked cool and super fast, aerial refueling required or not. Its top speed of nearly 90 mph is way better than Bleriot’s plane, and Zapata carries all his fuel in a backpack. We are not signing up. How fast is the thing? The target time from Calais, France, to England was just 20 minutes, and he was on track to do it before taking an unplanned dip. Watch the video and prepare to be impressed. Jet powered hoverboard in action!
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