Marc Fontrodona & Ander Ordoño


the ‘flying man’

The inventor of the Flyboard Air recently suffered a 15-metre fall during an exhibition event in France.

It isn't Zapata's first accident. He also crashed while trying to cross the Channel for the first time in July 2019.

But his story is one of success: for example, he managed to cross the Channel days later. He took 22 minutes from Calais to Dover.

And earlier in summer 2019, he gained global attention when he took to the air in the Bastille Day parade in Paris.

Zapata’s story is an unusual one. He wanted to be a helicopter pilot, but his colour blindness forced him to set his sights elsewhere.

With his father, he created a jet-ski racing team – and went on to become a two-time world champion.

In 1998, he embarked on the  Flyboard project, whose goal was to make jet skis capable of reaching greater heights.

The project then evolved towards the creation of the Flyboard Air, an invention reminiscent of the hoverboard in Back to the Future.

The Flyboard Air is a platform  powered by several turbines that are fuelled by kerosene. It can reach speeds of around 130 mph.

The YouTuber Devin Super Tramp filmed Zapata in an 8K video that is his biggest ever social-media hit, with hundreds of millions of views.

Like any good inventor, Zapata is always creating. Next off his production line is the Jet Racer, an unprecedented flying car that carries passengers.

Calum Roche

The dramatic  underwater rescue