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Can a hoverboard cross the English Channel ?

July 26, 2019 | Comment icon 14 comments



The Flyboard Air needs to be constantly refuelled. Image Credit: YouTube / Zapata
A record-breaking attempt to traverse 34km of open water on the futuristic invention didn't go quite to plan.
Franky Zapata, inventor of the jet-powered hoverboard 'Flyboard Air', attempted the seemingly impossible this week when he attempted to use his contraption to cross the English Channel.

Setting off from a staging area near Calais yesterday, Zapata had hoped to reach St Margaret's Bay on the coast of England - a distance of 34 kilometers - within a mere 20 minutes.

The Flyboard Air is powered by five mini turbo engines that can propel it at speeds of up to 118mph.
The caveat however is that the board has a very low fuel capacity and is notoriously difficult to get the hang of - it takes 50 to 100 hours of practice just to be able to stand up on it.

While the crossing attempt started off promisingly enough, Zapata ending up falling in to the water when he tried to land on the refuelling platform around half way through the flight.

Undeterred, he has since pledged to attempt the crossing again at some point in the near future.



Source: The Verge | Comments (14)



Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by ScotDeerie 2 years ago
My experience with such people is far removed from your optimistic view. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the dare devils and their daring deeds, but I know it ends up in tears far more than it ends in success. Living is Niagara Falls does that to you.  Do you remember that guy who thought he could go over the falls on a Ski-doo?  It was a couple of decades ago now.  They still haven't found his body.
Comment icon #6 Posted by pallidin 2 years ago
The specific design was purchased by the US military, and is not available for general public use. The FAA in America has restricted use. Curiously, one can actually build one, so the flyboard tech is not entirely unavailable. The US Navy SEALS's won't use them because they are incredibly noisy due to the mini-turbine engines. Forget about silent approach... the noise is so very loud.
Comment icon #7 Posted by freetoroam 2 years ago
As with most things, people will want one. The design is our there and the only way to prevent the deathwishers to head out over the channel, is to put a restriction on who can own one.  The US military are not going to stop people crossing the channel because - its not their channel. They are not going to stop people building them either, because - it is not their design.  
Comment icon #8 Posted by thomsop 2 years ago
Update - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-49225001  
Comment icon #9 Posted by DieChecker 2 years ago
That... is... actually.... very... impressive!
Comment icon #10 Posted by pallidin 2 years ago
Hey, Die, if you haven't already you should check-out some of the flyboard videos on YouTube.   
Comment icon #11 Posted by Alchopwn 2 years ago
Just to reiterate, Franky Zapata managed the crossing on the hoverboard today LINK.  More than a little amazing.  
Comment icon #12 Posted by cathya 2 years ago
That is really cool. I congratulate him. I think we'll see more of this type of contraption in the future as better plans for construction and power become available. But, as always seems to be the case, it will eventually be used for evil purposes.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Alchopwn 2 years ago
I agree about the evil purposes.  I fully intend to buy one for use in creating grafitti in high places and effecting a speedy exit.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Habitat 2 years ago
This seems like a very dangerous piece of equipment, as spectacular as it is.


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