A French Inventor Just Flew Across the English Channel on a Hoverboard

When we talk about the future promised by films, TV shows, and science fiction novels, one of the first things that comes to mind is the lack of flying cars and hoverboards. But a trip across the English Channel over the weekend would probably satisfy denizens of the past that a totally foreign future will be delivered. 

French inventor Franky Zapata, who is also working on a flying car, took to his hoverboard on August 4 for the nearly 22-mile trek from France to England. The attempt came just weeks after a failed attempt on Bastille Day. This time, however, Zapata was successful, taking off from Sangatte, France and landing at St. Margaret's Bay near Dover on the southern England coast. 

Zapata's Flyboard Air is powered by five small jet engines, which required refueling about halfway across the Strait of Dover, the narrowest part of the English Channel. That was where things fell apart on his first attempt. However, this time he was successful and made the crossing in just over 20 minutes, including his stop on a boat to refuel.

"For the last five to six kilometers, I just really enjoyed it," Zapata told reporters after he landed. "Whether this is a historic event or not, I'm not the one to decide that. Time will tell."


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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.