Flyboarder Zapata crosses English Channel

French inventor and entrepreneur Franky Zapata successfully completed a flight over the English Channel on his newly developed flyboard on Sunday. After landing he announced that he is currently working on a flying car. Commentators have mixed feelings about such technological innovations.

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Le Quotidien (LU) /

Spectacle inspires enthusiasm for the future

Thanks to Zapata's exploit we can look forward to the future, Le Quotidien writes in delight:

“We all recall those images from the 1950s and 60s showing families in rocket-propelled cars zigzagging between the high-rises. Let's not forget that back then the future inspired dreams. We're a far cry from that today. Back then humans were conquering the universe, planning a moon landing and full of hope. ... Today the future no longer inspires dreams but dread in view of the threat of climate change. We're told that the worst is yet to come, that the countdown to disaster can't be stopped, and that the only thing we can influence is how big it will be. But Franky Zapata's adventure has given us a reprieve. The future isn't scary. And with any luck it's got plenty more surprises in store for us.”

Libération (FR) /

Enthusiasm could be followed by dread

Like all new inventions the flyboard is a double-edged sword, Libération puts in:

“One can imagine just how close an eye the military has on this research, which it will see as a stealthy way to approach a battlefield and a potential new source of government funding. ... It's no coincidence that Zapata appeared in the military parade on Bastille Day. Each technological development brings with it its share of advantages and risks. For now, excitement is the order of the day. Tomorrow we may be trembling in our boots: just imagine Zapata on his board with a gun in his hand.”