142nd Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra54831338184318650 Tamil Nadu3145202563135278 Andhra Pradesh2641421709242378 Karnataka1964941126333511 Delhi1494601343184167 Uttar Pradesh140775887862280 West Bengal98459671202059 Telangana8647563074665 Bihar8274154139450 Gujarat71064542382652 Assam5883842326145 Rajasthan5249738235789 Odisha4592731785321 Haryana4163534781483 Madhya Pradesh3902529020996 Kerala3811424922127 Jammu and Kashmir2489717003472 Punjab2390315319586 Jharkhand185168998177 Chhatisgarh12148880996 Uttarakhand96326134125 Goa871259575 Tripura6161417641 Puducherry5382320187 Manipur3752204411 Himachal Pradesh3371218114 Nagaland30119738 Arunachal Pradesh223115923 Chandigarh1595100425 Meghalaya11154986 Sikkim9105101 Mizoram6203230
World Europe 04 Aug 2019 Watch: After water l ...

Watch: After water landing, French 'rocketman' succeeds English Channel crossing

AFP
Published Aug 4, 2019, 1:29 pm IST
Updated Aug 4, 2019, 1:29 pm IST
He already holds Guinness World Record for the farthest hoverboard flight, a 2.2-kilometre trip over the Mediterranean Sea in April 2016.
Franky Zapata set off on his 'Flyboard' from Sangatte on the northern coast of France for the 20-minute trip to St. Margaret's Bay in Dover, on England's south coast. (Photo: AFP/ video screengrab)
 Franky Zapata set off on his 'Flyboard' from Sangatte on the northern coast of France for the 20-minute trip to St. Margaret's Bay in Dover, on England's south coast. (Photo: AFP/ video screengrab)

Paris: A Frenchman who has spent years developing a jet-powered hoverboard zoomed across the English Channel on Sunday after a first attempt last month was cut short when he fell into the water while trying to refuel.

Franky Zapata set off on his "Flyboard" from Sangatte on the northern coast of France for the 20-minute trip to St. Margaret's Bay in Dover, on England's south coast.

 

Escorted by three helicopters, Zapata glided across the water in the early morning light and landed in the picturesque bay, where dozens of onlookers and journalists awaited him.

The five turbines on the former jet-ski champion's craft propel him at speeds of up to 190 kilometres (118 miles) an hour, powered by a backpack full of kerosene that can keep him airborne for around 10 minutes.

He had planned to make the 35-kilometre crossing in 20 minutes, keeping an average speed of 140 kilometres an hour at a height of 15-20 metres above the water.

 

Zapata tumbled into the middle of the busy shipping lane on July 25 after failing to land on a boat waiting in English waters to give him a fresh pack of kerosene.

"The trickiest part is really the refuelling," the 40-year-old Zapata said last Thursday. "I didn't let up on the gas at the right moment."

"Aviation is the result of people who have had failures, and it's by getting back up that we move forward," he said.

This time the refuelling boat was bigger and had a larger landing area, and French navy vessels in the area kept an eye out in case of trouble.

 

French maritime authorities gave Zapata's team permission to keep the refuelling boat in French waters, something they had refused the first time around citing safety concerns.

Zapata's team had been racing to repair the hoverboard after it was damaged from falling in the Channel waters 10 days ago.

The main uncertainty this time around, Zapata said Saturday, was that his hoverboard might end up having "a little problem."

"Normally we test the machines for several weeks before big events. Here, it's a little bit worrying to be using a machine that has just been rebuilt," he said.

 

'My life's work'

Zapata has been developing his hoverboard for the past three years, despite losing two fingers during its maiden flight in his garage near Marseille, when they got sucked into the turbines.

He already holds the Guinness World Record for the farthest hoverboard flight, a 2.2-kilometre trip over the Mediterranean Sea in April 2016.

No Guinness adjudicator will be on hand for the latest Channel attempt, though a spokeswoman said he could still be awarded a new record if the trip meets its guidelines.

Zapata burst into the spotlight at this year's July 14 Bastille Day military parade in Paris, where he and his craft soared noisily above a crowd of stunned onlookers that included French President Emmanuel Macron.

 

His device has also captured the attention of the French military, which in December gave Zapata's company, Z-AIR, a 1.3 million euro (USD 1.4 million) development grant.

Defence Minister Florence Parly told France Inter radio that it might eventually serve a variety of purposes, "for example as a flying logistical platform or, indeed, as an assault platform."

"I can't help it, the first time I saw it fly I said, 'This is going to be my life's work'," Zapata told the French online media site Brut in a recent interview.

 

...




ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT