The French inventor of an airborne hoverboard made history overnight after his successful second crack at soaring over the English Channel on his flyboard.
Powered by five small jet engines and carrying kerosene in a backpack, Mr Zapata launched off from Sangatte, near Calais in France at about 6am (local time).
He made it to Britain about 20 minutes later, landing in Saint Margaret’s Bay, close to Dover on Britain’s southern coast, according to French television images.
Franky Zapata, known as “Le Rocketman”, initially tried to fly across the Channel on July 26 but did not make the distance and was dunked into the ocean instead.
Undeterred by the failed first mission, the 40-year-old inventor vowed to try again within the week.
On Sunday, Mr Zapata’s ambitious dream came true.
🇫🇷#yeswedid la seconde #tentative aura été la bonne. Traversée de la manche réussie #jobdone. Merci à tous #familyaffair #france #NeverGiveUp #flyboardair #entrepreneurs #louisbleriot #frencharmy pic.twitter.com/5ToPopHSxj
— Franky Zapata (@frankyzapata) August 4, 2019
“The second attempt was the right one. Crossed the channel successfully,” Mr Zapata tweeted.
“Thank you everyone.”
The former jet-skiing champion had already captured the imagination of crowds and world leaders in Paris during a showpiece Bastille Day parade by soaring above them on his turbine engine-powered board.
His skateboard-sized Flyboard can reach speeds of up to 190km/h and run for 10 minutes.