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


Franky Zapata designed his own homemade hoverboard, which is inspired by the flight suit worn by the main character of the superhero movie Iron Man.

Powered by five jet engines, the impressive “Flyboard Air” can propel its pilot through the skies at impressive speeds of up to 120 mph and reach altitudes of 10,000 feet.

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

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

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

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

The awesome board is operated 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 July 14 parade, where Zapata soared 50ft above Paris’ Place de la Concorde, donning a soldier’s uniform and holding a rifle.

Mr Zapata now hopes it will one day enter commercial production, as game-changing military hardware – and he has even received £1.26m from the French Ministry of Defense to develop it.

Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said the card would be “tested for different uses, for example as a flying logistics platform, or even as an assault platform”.

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

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He has since piloted the Flyboard Air through part of the Arizona desert.

Mr Zapata originally designed a water-jet powered board a decade ago, using an exhaust pipe from a jet ski to power an aerial device.

It can blast riders about 30 feet 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 vacationers around the world.

Mr Zapata then spent four years developing a device that does not need to be hooked up to a jet ski, and can therefore fly over land and sea.



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