If you don’t follow strange tech news as obsessively as I do, then you may not have heard the tale of Franky Zapata and his attempt to cross The English Channel recently. A French inventor, Zapata had created a hoverboard that utilized five mini turbojet engines, each packing over 200 horsepower and able to reach speeds over 100 miles per hour, and was attempting to use the machine to cross the English Channel.
Franky Zapata takes off in his bid to cross from France to England on his flyboard. The Frenchman's attempt failed a short time later when he missed a landing platform to refuel.— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 25, 2019
For more, head here: https://t.co/COSJht4y8U pic.twitter.com/G15dE73FlW
Unfortunately for us all, the hoverboard, which Zapata claims takes nearly 100 hours of practice just to be able to stand up on, never got much easier to pilot. So, while trying to land halfway across the channel to refuel the hoverboard, Zapata crashed. According to one of Zapata’s technicians though, it wasn’t the hoverboards fault that Zapata plunged into the water only halfway to his destination.
‘It wasn’t the wind, it was the waves. The platform was two meters above the deck, every movement of the boat is exaggerated….We practiced this maneuver dozens of times in heavier seas, with platforms that moved more, without any problems,’ the technician said.
So it seems like, more than anything, the failed attempt came down to a few centimeters and some bad luck. Despite his failure though, Zapata seems upbeat about the invention in general. July 14th saw him demonstrating at a military parade for Bastille Day, and he said that he has hopes of selling the technology to the French Military.
While I’m not sure if we need any flying soldiers zipping around, I think we can all agree this is one of the cooler “hoverboards” invented in recent years.
Caleb Edwards is a senior studying professional writing with a focus in editing and publishing. When he isn’t working or writing you can find him tending his fish, taking care of his cats and dogs or trying to find free time that he can waste (there never is any). You can follow him on Twitter @CEdwardsSam or find him at his website CalebMEdwards.com.