France shows off ‘flying soldier’ at Bastille Day parade
A ‘flying soldier’ wowed crowds in Paris today when he arrived at France’s Bastille Day parade on an 118mph ‘Back to the Future’-style hoverboard.
Franky Zapata, 40, brandished an unloaded rifle as a he raced at high speed above world leaders including President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Then he landed comfortably on his so-called Flyboard, which he hopes to sell to the French military.
‘A flying soldier!’ wrote Lord Edward Llewellyn, Britain’s Ambassador to France, as he posted a video of the flight on Twitter.
‘Military innovation on display at this morning’s Bastille Day parade here this morning in Paris,’ Baron Llewellyn added.
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.’
Mr Zapata calls his invention the Flyboard Air, and admits it is very similar to the hoverboard used by Marty McFly, played by Michael J Fox, in the Back to the Future films.
The former jet-skiing champion and entrepreneur from Marseille developed the turbine engine powered board in his garage at home.
It can reach speeds of up to 190 kilometres an hour, which is the equivalent of 118mph, and can currently stay in the air for up to 10 minutes.