ZENITH & FRANKY ZAPATA
Super flying man and new friend of the ZENITH brand Franky Zapata yesterday commemorated the 110th anniversary of Louis Bleriot’s historic 1909 flight across the English Channel with his first attempt re-enact the feat on his jet-propelled Flyboard. While Bleriot was flying his own plane, assisted by Zenith on-board instruments, Zapata piloted his legendary jet-propelled Flyboard Air accompanied by a Zenith Type 20 Chronograph Adventure watch, a natural heir to the on-board instruments developed by ZENITH in the early years of aeronautics, known for their precision, sturdiness and outstanding legibility
Zapata’s unique and innovative approach to personal flight comes from extensive experience in hydroflight, along with the use of turbine engines over conventional electric propellers, as well as intuitive flight controls designed around the human body. Capable of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and unprecedented individual mobility, the jet-powered Flyboard Air features the Zapata© technology platform is reputedly the safest, easiest, lightest, most manoeuvrable personal aviation system ever created. Today barely bigger than a large drone, and driven by means of “mass transfer”, like a Segway, the Flyboard Air is propelled by five mini jet engines allowing it some ten minutes of flying time prior to requiring refuelling. It is driven by means of a handheld joystick to adjust the thrust.