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Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Photo by: Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Frenchman Flies across English Channel via Hoverboard

By: Dominique Vu

French inventor and elite jet skier Franky Zapata set the record to become the first person ever to use a hoverboard to cross the English Channel.

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. Wait, it’s a guy on a hoverboard?

On Sunday, August 4th, French inventor and elite jet skier Franky Zapata set the record to become the first person ever to use a hoverboard to cross the English Channel. This incredible feat was the second attempt by the Frenchman using his own invention, the Flyboard Air—a hoverboard powered by a kerosene-filled backpack.

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CALAIS, FRANCE - AUGUST 04: French hoverboard star Franky Zapata takes to the air to cross the Channel from France to England using a flying hoverboard aka Flyboard on August 4th, 2019 at Bleriot beach in Sangatte, near Calais, France. The former jetski champion succeded to make the 22-minute crossing on his turbo-powered hoverboard, the Flyboard Air, to mark the 110th anniversary of French aviator Louis Blériot's first cross-Channel airplane flight. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

Photo by: Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

After Zapata’s first attempt the week before was unsuccessful, he set off from Sangatte on the northern coast of France to try again. Reaching 60 feet in the air and traveling for nearly 22 miles in 20 minutes, he successfully touched down near Dover, England and was immediately in tears of joy. However, this was no easy achievement.

Aside from the challenge of withstanding the gusts of wind that blow above the English Channel, he notes that his biggest obstacle was refueling mid-journey. During his failed attempt, Zapata plunged into the water and wasn’t able to land on a platform on a boat that was floating in the middle of the Channel. This time around, he planned for a larger platform and a larger boat and was able to successfully change his backpack.

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CALAIS, FRANCE - AUGUST 04: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Alternative crop of image #1166007851) French hoverboard star Franky Zapata takes to the air to cross the Channel from France to England using a flying hoverboard aka Flyboard on August 4th, 2019 at Bleriot beach in Sangatte, near Calais, France. The former jetski champion succeded to make the 22-minute crossing on his turbo-powered hoverboard, the Flyboard Air, to mark the 110th anniversary of French aviator Louis Blériot's first cross-Channel airplane flight. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

Photo by: Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

It’s unclear about the future of hoverboards for the average person, but it’s no doubt a cool advancement in the tech world that gets us one step closer to possibility of flying cars--another Zapata invention in the works.

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