Don’t Fly … Hover!

August 11, 2019

Update: Last week, Franky Zapata attempted to fly over the English Channel with his jet-powered hoverboard once again. What happened this time?  He made it all the way across!  Awesome? We think so.


How do you get from one place to the next? You can walk, skateboard, bike, scooter, take the bus, train, ferry, airplane, or helicopter—you get the picture. But what if we told you that someone attempted to cross the English Channel via a jet-powered hoverboard—would you believe us? Well, it’s true! Last week, Franky Zapata, French inventor of the Flyboard Air, wanted to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the first airplane flight between Britain and France by attempting to fly across the English Channel on his jet-powered hoverboard. He anticipated that the flight would take approximately twenty minutes and he would fly at speeds of approximately 85-90 miles per hour. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it all the way across because he had missed a refueling platform approximately midway through his trip and fell in the water. Not to worry, however, because he’s planning to attempt the feat again soon.

credit: Zapata

Wondering what a jet-powered hoverboard could be used for besides a showy display of blasting across the English Channel? Combat. Yes, the French military has already expressed interest in using Zapata’s hoverboard for combat. Interesting, right?

Side note: If you’ve never seen a jet-powered hoverboard before, imagine three parts to the gadget: a fuel-filled backpack worn on the back, a board strapped to your feet, and a remote control that helps control the board.

Note: Please don’t try this at home. Zapata is the inventor of the Flyboard Air and was a professional athlete before he started investing his time into making this new flight gadget. He readily admits that it’s not an easy thing to learn how to use and takes at least 50-100 hours of practice just to get used to the machine.

What would you use a jet-powered hoverboard for?

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