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Man Crashes Into Sea After Attempting To Hoverboard Across The English Channel

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An inventor’s attempt to fly across the English Channel on a hoverboard failed Thursday after he crashed into the ocean halfway through the trip.

Franky Zapata, also known as “Flyman” by French media, got 11 miles into his 22 mile trip across the English Channel when he attempted to land on a boat to refuel the hoverboard, NBC reported. He missed the landing platform on the boat and crashed into the ocean.

Zapata, who is 40 years old, started his trip near Calais, France and was aiming to land at St. Margaret’s Bay in Dover, England, according to BBC News. The trip was expected to take around 20 minutes until Zapata, who was not injured during his crash, failed halfway through.

A member of Zapata’s team said it was “a huge disappointment,” according to Mail Online. “He must have missed the platform by just a few centimeters.”

However, Zapata knew how difficult this trip would be from the start and his chances of making it weren’t great. He told Le Parisien newspaper he believed he only had a 30% chance of completing the trip.

The hoverboard is powered by five mini turbo engines and a fuel tank that is filled with jet fuel that Zapata wore on his back. The board is capable of reaching 118mph, The Guardian reported. (RELATED: Bro Rides Around On A Hoverboard While Firing An Automatic Rifle [VIDEO])

The French maritime authorities initially refused to give Zapata the permit for the flight, citing concerns of how many boats go across the channel. They granted Zapata the permit, but only allowed him to make one stop to refuel.

The attempt came exactly 110 years after Louis Blériot completed the first flight in an airplane across the English Channel.

The French government defense and procurement agency gave Zapata a $1.45 million grant to continue to develop the technology to be used as “a flying logistical platform or, indeed, as an assault platform.”

Zapata is planning on a second attempt to hoverboard across the English Channel soon.

Daniel Christof

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