Watch a Green Goblin-esque Hoverboard in Action
Go ahead and get rid of your wheeled "hoverboard" now.
Hoverboards are old news. They don’t actually hover, and even if you do have one of the spontaneously exploding devices, you can’t take them on airplanes or public transit, anyway.
As the sun sets on the days of the wheeled hoverboard, a new era begins: the era of a real, flying hoverboard that reaches a top speed of 93 mph with 10 possible minutes of flight time.
It’s a hoverboard so impressive, in fact, that it could even make Marty McFly jealous: this thing can soar as high as 10,000 feet into the sky. It actually winds up looking more like the glider that the Green Goblin from Spider-Man rides, if we’re being honest.
Franky Zapata and his company Zapata Racing put a video up on YouTube over the weekend of the Flyboard Air Independent Propulsion Unit. It’s the most exciting addition to hoverboard technology since the JB-9 took a trip around the Statue of Liberty in November. Prior to that, the closest thing the world had to hovercraft was the water-powered Flyboard that Zapata Racing released in 2011; it used steady water streams to push the rider into the air. The Flyboard Air takes that concept one step further, breaking the leash of water that restricted the original Flyboard.
In the test video, Zapata — who is a French jet ski champion — hits 35 mph and goes as high as 98 feet in the air. The performance in the demonstration falls short of the huge claims the Zapata Racing website makes on the Flyboard Air specs page, but it’s impressive nonetheless.
You’ll notice that even though the Flyboard Air doesn’t need water, Zapata doesn’t drift over any land. This is just the prototype, after all, and even the man who likely has the most hoverboard experience in the world needs to be wary of falling on a solid surface.
Still, the video description notes that the Flyboard Air will be out of the prototype phase and onto the market in 2016.
“Test one completed,” the video types out, “mission one coming soon.”
Maybe Back to the Future’s October 2015 hoverboard prediction wasn’t so far off – unless, considering the Flyboard Air’s capabilities, you’d like to argue the film drastically underestimated things.