On July 25th, French inventor Franky Zapata plunged into seawater while making the bold attempt to cross the English Channel on his Flyboard Air, a jet-powered hovering device he created.
Zapata was expected to make the roughly 35-kilometer crossing from Sangatte, France to Dover, England in less than half an hour by traveling at a speed of 140 kilometers per hour.
The plan was to land on a refueling boat about halfway through the trip before completing his journey to England. It was a maneuver he had practiced many times before. But in the middle of the channel, the conditions were more treacherous than the placid waters he had left behind.
The boat was rocking, and while Zapata could see it shifting from side to side, he couldn't see how the waves were tossing the boat up and down. When trying to land, the boat hit his flyboard, causing him to plummet into the English Channel. Zapata was saved immediately after the crash, but the adventure also came to termination.
The aviation enthusiast had chosen that day for his attempt as it marked 110 years since French pilot Louis Bleriot made the first flight across the English Channel in 1909. Ahead of his attempt, Zapata told the reporters that "we created a new way of flying, we don't use wings. You are like a bird; it is your body that is flying. It is a boyhood dream."
Earlier last month, Zapata made waves when he hovered over Paris' Place de la Concorde as part of France's Bastille Day military parade. That successful flight even won attention from French president, Emmanuel Macron. He said the defense ministry was looking at ways to integrate Zapata's invention into the country's armed forces.
Questions For All: Is The Story Over Yet?
The French inventor Franky Zapata on Sunday made his second attempt to fly from France to England. “I followed my dream and that's huge,” he said after landing successfully.
hover: v. 翱翔；盘旋
treacherous: adj. 有潜在危险的；不可信任的
plummet: v. 暴跌；骤降
aviation: n. 航空