EVs & Mobility

This article was published on May 27, 2022

Watch with envy as this hoverboard soars over Paris

Can a hovercraft achieve it’s aviation dreams?


Watch with envy as this hoverboard soars over Paris
Cate Lawrence
Story by

Cate Lawrence

Cate Lawrence is an Australian tech journo living in Berlin. She focuses on all things mobility: ebikes, autonomous vehicles, VTOL, smart ci Cate Lawrence is an Australian tech journo living in Berlin. She focuses on all things mobility: ebikes, autonomous vehicles, VTOL, smart cities, and the future of alternative energy sources like electric batteries, solar, and hydrogen.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen more and more new kinds of aviation vehicles come on the market, from flyboards to flying motorbikes to eVTOLs. So when we saw a video of a hoverboard being flown in Paris this week, we just knew we had to share it with you. 

What’s a better fuck you to city traffic than whizzing through the air above it?

A video on YouTube by Omni Hoverboard shows a man flying the hovercraft, using a handheld device to steer, over a large ornamental pond outside a city landmark (I suspect it’s an art gallery). 

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The unnamed rider stands upright, legs akimbo and slightly bent, with his feet strapped onto the board. He’s taken his cue from Top Gun and is wearing a leather flying jacket, helmet, and aviation sunglasses.

Sounds pretty cool, huh? 

It’s been a while in the making. In 2015, Alexandru Duru flew a prototype for 275.9 m (905 ft and 2 inches). This achieved a new Guinness World Record for the longest distance traveled by a hoverboard.  

Soon you can own a hoverboard of your very own

The company’s website states that the Mark-2 will be available to all consumers next year.

However, we don’t know that much about the machinations of the hovercraft. The website has no specifications, drawings, or other information. 

However, according to eVTOL News, the hoverboard’s main frame is made out of one tube, and at each end of the tube are four booms, for a total of eight booms.

Each boom’s end holds a downward-facing electric motor and propeller. The pilot’s feet hold steady using snowboarding straps fixed at each end of the main tube. 

it’s unclear how the hoverboard user controls the aircraft’s direction, but for Prototype 2, it might simply be shifting his weight on the chassis for flight control. 

The downsides 

Well, the hoverboard sounds like a giant lawn mower. The company explains on YouTube that while ducting the propellers would improve sound and efficiency, that would limit the top speed considerably. 

Further, the Omni hoverboard can only fly for a few minutes at a time. This is likely due to the weight of the electric battery – a heavier one  could result in longer flight times, but make flying at height or speed more difficult.

Further, there are no laws that would allow its user to use it commercially right now.  

So it’s more in the realm of a rich person’s plaything at the moment, than something that could fly us to work. But Jet Suits are now being tested for use by paramedics in remote search and rescue missions in the UK. So, this passion project just might become more than a novelty in just a few years. 

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