Forgotten dark truth of Zapata’s cross-Channel flight

IN terms of romance and adventure, it is hard to beat a pioneering flight across the Channel.

Frenchman Franky Zapata proved that this summer, when he steered a kerosene-powered hoverboard from Sangatte beach to the White Cliffs of Dover (see The Connexion’s article here).

For those of us who watched the incredible feat, it revived the spirit of 1909, when Louis Blériot completed the first-ever plane flight across the same stretch of sea.

His heavier-than-air Blériot XI all but crash-landed on the south coast of England, but the epic journey turned him into an instant celebrity, as he won a £1,000 prize offered by Lord Northcliffe’s Daily Mail.

Zapata failed on ...

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