‘Working hoverboard’ is a term that certainly raises flags for the team at TNW, but if this is real, it’s easily the best hoverboard prototype to date.
If you’ve ever ridden one of the water-powered Flyboards that turn humans into dolphins by allowing them to jump in and out of water, hover above it or do some pretty insane tricks, then you know who Franky Zapata is.
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His latest creation, the Flyboard Air, foregoes the marine mammal transformation in favor of an actual hoverboard that propels its riders (for 10 minutes) up to 10,000 feet (theoretically, it has yet to be tested that high) into the air and at a top speed of 93 miles per hour.
Not much is available about how it’s built, but based on the video it seems to rely on fuel reserves in a backpack to power a turbine engine for lift and thrust.
What is clear, however, is that Zapata isn’t ready to hand over the reins of his new creation just yet. Currently, he’s limiting test flights to minimal altitude, and only on a lake that can provide a safe landing should failure occur.
So it may not be safer that our most-recent hoverboard fad (the two-wheeled variety), but there’s no argument that breaking bones by falling thousands of feet from the air is far cooler than catching fire due to cheap batteries.