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Jet-powered hoverboard inventor fails in English Channel crossing attempt

Franky Zapata missed a landing platform mounted on a boat as he tried to land midway for refuelling.

Franky Zapata takes to the air (Michel Spingler/AP)
Franky Zapata takes to the air (Michel Spingler/AP)

A French inventor has failed in his bid to cross the English Channel on a hoverboard, French media said.

Franky Zapata missed a landing platform mounted on a boat as he tried to land midway for refuelling and fell into the water.

The inventor of the jet-powered hoverboard was heading to Dover after taking off from near Calais 10 minutes earlier.

He had previously said he was confident but did not want to guess how long it would take to travel across the 22-mile stretch of water.

Mr Zapata expected to average 87mph, so was aiming to complete the crossing in around 20 minutes.

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Franky Zapata prepares for take-off (Michel Spingler/AP)

He set off only carrying a powerpack.

The attempt coincided with the 110th anniversary of Louis Bleriot’s 1909 channel crossing, which was the first time anyone had crossed the channel in a heavier-than-air aircraft.

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Franky Zapata performing a training flight (AP)

The beach which Mr Zapata took off from bears Bleriot’s name.

Mr Zapata wowed crowds in Paris on Bastille Day by flying over the celebrations on his Flyboard Air hoverboard.

PA

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