Home France France Moment daredevil French inventor Franky Zapata lost control of jetpack and fell 50ft into lake #France

France Moment daredevil French inventor Franky Zapata lost control of jetpack and fell 50ft into lake #France

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Franky Zapata’s designed his home-made hoverboard himself, which is inspired by the flying suit worn by the lead character in the superhero movie Iron Man.

Powered by five jet engines, the impressive ‘Flyboard Air’ can propel its driver through the sky at impressive speeds of up to 120mph and reach an altitude of 10,000 feet.

The state-of-the-art device, which he built from scratch, is powered by kerosene which is widely used as a fuel in the air industry.

Mr Zapata admits it is very similar to the hoverboard used by Marty McFly, played by Michael J Fox, in the Back to the Future films. 

Powered by five jet engines, the impressive ‘Flyboard Air’ can propel its driver through the sky at impressive speeds of up to 120mph

However, current models of the Flyboard Air can only stay airborne for about ten minutes on a single tank of fuel.

The impressive board operates via a small joystick and the rider must maintain a rigid body position while using small movements to help steer.

Last week, the Flyboard Air wowed crowds at France’s annual Bastille Day Parade, where Zapata zoomed through the air 50ft above Paris’s Place de la Concorde, donning soldier’s uniform and holding a rifle. 

The Flyboard Air wowed crowds at France's annual Bastille Day Parade as it hovered above them for about 10 minutes

The Flyboard Air wowed crowds at France’s annual Bastille Day Parade as it hovered above them for about 10 minutes

Mr Zapata now hopes it will one day enter commercial production, as a revolutionary piece of military hardware – and he was even granted £1.26 million by France’s Ministry of Defence to develop it.

Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said that the board would be ‘tested for different uses, for example as a flying logistical platform, or indeed as an assault platform.’ 

He previously broke a Guinness World Record by using the hoverboard to travel more than 7,388ft off the coastal town of Sausset-les-Pins – but was almost prosecuted by France’s Civil Aviation Authority for the impressive feat.

He has since flown the Flyboard Air across a stretch of the Arizona desert. 

Mr Zapata initially designed a board powered by water jets a decade ago, using a hose from the exhaust of a jet-ski to power an aerial device. 

It can blast riders roughly 30ft above the waves, and allow them to perform somersaults and other tricks. 

It has been in commercial production for several years now and is popular among thrill-seeking holidaymakers across the world. 

Mr Zapata then spent four years developing a device that does not need to be connected to a jet-ski, so can fly over both land and sea. 



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