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‘The Green Goblin!’: Onlookers delighted as armed flyboard rider soars over Paris (VIDEO)

Franky Zapata on a Flyboard in Paris on July 14, 2019 © REUTERS / Charles Platiau / Free

A French inventor has demonstrated his flyboard for President Emmanuel Macron and EU leaders, by whizzing above the Champs-Elysees in Paris –armed with a rifle– as part of the Bastille Day celebrations.

Frank Zapata flew his turbine engine-powered hoverboard above a group of dignitaries and military personnel gathered to celebrate the national holiday on Sunday. He held a rifle in his hand as he zipped around as part of the annual military parade.  

 Zapata invented the first functional hoverboard and was given a €1.3 million ($1.47mn) grant by the French military in 2018 to develop an aeronautical micro-jet engine that can be used by the military.

Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly told French radio the Flyboard “can allow tests for different kinds of uses, for example as a flying logistical platform or, indeed, as an assault platform.” Zapata says that the flyboard has the power to reach speeds up to 190 kilometres-an-hour (118 mph). 

Many social media users joked that Zapata looked like the Green Goblin or Iron Man, joking that his help would have been welcome during the Notre Dame fire.

Others were less than impressed with the display and expressed fear that this was an ominous preview of future warfare, pointing out sarcastically that someone flying around like this with a gun is “just what the world needs.” 

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