Man soars over Bastille Day crowds on flying board

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PARIS — A man soared over Bastille Day celebrations in Paris Sunday on a flying board, dazzling the crowd and President Emmanuel Macron.

French inventor and entrepreneur Franky Zapata piloted the jet powered aerial vehicle, which he calls the Flyboard Air. Crowds cheered as Zapata circled above the Champs-Elysees during a military parade attended by Macron and political representatives from other European countries.

Bastille Day marks a key moment in the French Revolution, when high taxes and a summer of famine in 1789 led French citizens to storm the Bastille, a military fortress and prison.

This year’s celebration honored European defense cooperation, drawing revelers and protesters. “Proud of our army, modern and innovative,” Macron said a tweet that included a video of the spectacle.

French special forces are interested in the flying board for different uses, including as a possible assault device, said Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly, according to CNN affiliate BFMTV.

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