Catalin Alexandru Duru, a Montreal-based inventor, has made a career out of walking on air — well, sort of.
Duru holds the world record for longest hoverboard flight — which he shattered in May 2015. His flight lasted more than 90 seconds, in which he traveled a whopping 905 feet at a height of up to 16 feet above water on a propeller-based machine.
Here’s a look at his record-winning flight from this spring:
Despite that lofty accomplishment in the near past, Duru is already gearing up to soar above and beyond with a brand new prototype in the works. His company Omni Hoverboards is now developing a new version of his record-breaking invention.
Duru invited the CBC into his lab and to a family gathering by a lake to see the innovations he and the company are making on this new, semi-secret project.
Duru showed cameras the latest version of his prototype, made with parts sourced from around the world. He revealed that the controls for the hoverboard are nothing like the gyroscopic sensor-controlled Segue — it’s actually a lot more humble than that. The acceleration on Duru’s preliminary machine is executed with a set of pliers (yes, regular old pliers) that are hooked up via wires to the hoverboard’s sensors. Additionally, the hoverboard runs on eight electric motors powered by plenty of lithium polymer batteries.
The first test run of the new prototype brought Duru crashing into the water after only a few triumphant seconds, but he was ready to bring it back out onto the water after a few tweaks. On his second run, Duru showed that this new, exploratory version of his famous hoverboard is well on its way to making great leaps in how these flying machines will evolve. Somebody call up Marty McFly.