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French inventor is first to cross English Channel using a hoverboard

It wasn't an uninterrupted flight, but it was still historic.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 4, 2019
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Steve Parsons/PA via AP

It took a second try, but Franky Zapata has become the first to cross the English Channel using a hoverboard. The French inventor used his jet-powered Flyboard Air to travel the 22 miles from France to England in 22 minutes, briefly landing on a boat to replace his kerosene-filled backpack. The board wasn't slow, either -- Zapata said he reached speeds up to 106MPH during his journey.

The first attempt in late July literally fell short after Zapata missed the boat platform by a "few centimeters." Zapata relied on a larger boat and platform to ensure this latest attempt would work without a hitch.

This is certainly a publicity grab for Zapata's company, Z-Air, but it could also open doors for the technology in other areas. The French military is already backing the technology as a potential logistical option or even as an attack platform. A successful long-distance trip like this could give it extra confidence in the technology, even if it does highlight the current hoverboard's limitations.

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