France’s annual Bastille Day parade showcased European military cooperation and innovation on Sunday, complete with a French inventor hovering above Paris on a jet-powered flyboard.
Franky Zapata, a French inventor and entrepreneur soared above the Champs-Elysees on a turbine engine-powered flyboard in front of President Emmanuel Macron and other EU leaders.
Zapata, a former jet-skiing champion, grasping a rifle in a sign of the possible military uses of his device, took to the air in a futuristic showpiece of the annual parade.
Macron, flanked by German chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders, nodded in approval and applauded the 40-year-old Zapata, who was referred to by astonished French TV commentators as “James Bond.”
French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly told France Inter radio ahead of the parade that the flyboard “can allow tests for different kinds of uses, for example as a flying logistical platform or, indeed, as an assault platform.”
Zapata, who first developed his device flying above water, says that the flyboard has the power to take off and reach speeds up to 190km an hour and run for 10 minutes.
He is now eyeing a crossing of the English Channel which, for the first time, will require a refuelling in mid-flight.
Zapata aims to make the crossing on July 25, 110 years to the day after pioneering aviator Louis Bleriot made the first airplane flight across the Channel.
(AFP with staff writer)
1. showcase v.
展示 (zhan3 shi4)
2. military adj.
軍事的 (jun1 shi4 de5)
3. innovation n.
創新 (chuang4 xin1)
4. entrepreneur n.
(chuang4 ye4 jia1)
5. soar v.
(gao1 fei1; ao2 xiang2)
6. turbine engine phr.
(wo1 lun2 yin3 qing2)
7. device n.
裝置 (zhuang1 zhi4)
8. logistical adj.
(hou4 qin2 de5; wu4 liu2 de5)
9. assault n.
攻擊 (gong1 ji2)
10. aviator n.
(fei1 xing2 yuan2)
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