Inventor will cross English channel on flying hoverboard
Former Jet-Ski champion Franky Zapata has said he will fly across the English channel on Thursday, on his own invention – a flying hoverboard.
The flyboard contraption uses jet propulsion to propel the rider upwards of 190-kilometres an hour.
The announcement comes ten days after Zapata wowed crowds by flying above the Champs-Elysees Boulevard in Paris, in front of President Emmanuel Macron.
While the French President seems pleased as punch about the stunt, naval authorities aren’t so keen on him. While France’s civil aviation authority has approved the crossing, local maritime authorities in France and Britain have condemned the stunt on safety grounds.
"It's an extremely dangerous area. We weren't sure if he'd be able to fly over container ships. The Calais strait sees a quarter of the world's traffic, including very large boats,” said local maritime authority in norther France.
"We wrote to him to express our disapproval of the project.”
Maritime safety officers have asked Zapata to inform them when he begins his crossing, "so they can track him and respond to any problems at sea".
Responding to criticism, Zapata – who carries his flyboard in a backpack – said the concerns were “total nonsense”.
"They let me fly 30 metres (100 feet) away from the President, but now they're talking about the risk of hitting a boat?" he said to a local French TV channel.
"Even the maritime safety authority agreed (that)... there are a dozen slots during the day when there are no boats."
Zapata launched his Flyboard back in 2016, a larger-scale version of his previous invention – the Flyboard Air – which uses water and a Jet-Ski to propel the wearer up to 10-metres in the air. This version, however, uses Kerosene.
Previously, the French Government has praised the invention and previously said it might have military potential.
You can check out the Flyboard in action below: