Have you ever wanted to do something really bad but failed miserably as soon as you tried? Well, that’s exactly what happened to French hoverboard inventor Franky Zapata when he attempted to cross the English Channel on a jet pack ‘flyboard’.
The 40-year-old innovator attempted to cross the famous stretch of ocean on a ‘flyboard’ of his own design. And boy, oh boy, did he fail miserably.
He began his journey in Sangatte, France and hoped to reach his final destination of Dover within 20 minutes.
The trip required Franky to travel at approximately 140km per hour (really fast) while suspended about 15-20 metres above the water. Honestly, that’s pretty ballsy. What a legend.
He planned to stop halfway for a quick refuel, which seems like a bit of a design flaw if you ask me. But when he tried to land on the refuelling boat, he missed the platform by a few centimetres and plummeted into the water.
“It is a huge disappointment. He made his rendezvous with the refuelling boat but he must have missed the platform by just a few centimetres,” a member of Mr Zapata’s team said.
To make matters worse, he had actually practised the manoeuvre multiple times and had perfected his landing, or so he thought. However, his landing platform only measured one square metre, so you can imagine how difficult it would be. I guess we’ll let this fail slide.
His maiden voyage was scheduled to coincide with the 110th anniversary of the first powered flight across the English Channel back in 1909. Although it wasn’t a success, his dedication to his childhood dream really pulls at your heartstrings.
“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,” he told reporters in France before his maiden journey across the English Channel.
But if you think one failed attempt enough to stop this daring inventor, think again. Mr Zapata reckons he’ll be back on the water for round two as early as next week. This guy is really passionate about his ‘flyboards’, I tell ya.
The lesson here: don’t give up on your dreams, even if you end up falling into the English Channel.