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Frenchman to try flying across Channel on his flyboard

Posted at 3:20 AM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 06:20:55-04

SAINT INGLEVERT, France (AP) — The man who wowed the crowd on Bastille Day, whirling over France’s invited leaders on his flyboard, is undertaking final checks for his biggest challenge: to soar across the English Channel.

Franky Zapata told reporters Wednesday that it’s all systems go but conceded it’s “not an easy challenge.”

Zapata is to take off on Thursday anchored to his flyboard — a small flying platform he invented — from Sangatte, in France’s Pas de Calais region, to the Dover area in southeast England.

He said he’s confident but that he didn’t want to make projections about his arrival across the 36-kilometer (22.4-mile) stretch of water.

He expects his average speed to be about 140 kilometers (87 mph) per hour.

He says: “You’re like a bird. It’s your body that flies.”