Flyboard Air Test – Has The Future Arrived?
The tension in the air has been palpable as we’re getting hit with demonstrations of something most people have dreamed about their entire lives – cruising across the ground on a hovercraft. And while competitors have attempted to create a hoverboard, this is perhaps the very first time we’re seeing a real life exhibition of an actual, usable hovercraft.
Hovercraft have been attempted for nearly as long as man has been flying around in the sky. However, the limitations that have always plagued the creation of a lone-piloted hovercraft have revolved around fuel, weight, and electronics. Thankfully, we now live in a computer driven world and the materials we use to design technology are lighter, stronger, and more resilient.
Our manufacturing processes are more exacting and enable us to create the technology we rely upon every day. And now, for the first time ever, we may have the opportunity to fly nearly twenty feet in the air, at speeds of up to 35 mph. Well, technically, it’s capable of speeds of up to 93.5 mph according to ZR’s website, but most of the pilots during this prototype phase are sticking to little steps at a time.
The FlyboardÂ® Pro Series, Hoverboard by ZRÂ® and Jetpack by ZRÂ® all came from basically the same brainchild: pro jet ski champion Franky Zapata. As he told Gizmag not too
Hovercraft Took Off First On The Water
The Flyboard® Pro Series, Hoverboard by ZR® and Jetpack by ZR® all came from basically the same brainchild: pro jet ski champion Franky Zapata. As he told Gizmag not too long ago,
“I am actually a fan of the film Back to the Future and I remembered thinking that this would no longer be fiction in 2015. So I thought it would be a great opportunity to mix my passion for extreme sports and my interests in great movies. I am pretty sure Marty McFly would love our board and if he does, I hope he would give me a call and so we could give it a try together!”
The hoverboard predominantly took off for high end thrill seekers on vacation to tropical waters and scenic destinations. It used a professional jet ski attached to a blower which would propel it to staggering speeds across the water. Of course, there are limitations to its range but vacation goers have reported it to be one of the most thrilling experiences of their lives.
When we finally see the Flyboard become commercially available, we’re going to see the tethers come off and for the first time in human history, we’ll see people flying over the tree tops. This is the type of adventure planning that used to be stuck in the realm of science fiction – and now it’s here!
Air Cushion Vehicles Are Still Here To Stay
Prior to the Flyboard and other inventions, the majority of hovercraft in existence were air cushion vehicles (ACV) and while they had some impressive traits in terms of crossing across the water at blisteringly fast speeds, the true mystery of the hovercraft really is in getting autonomously off the ground.
The way present day ACVs work is by using an air filled cushion to reduce the friction of the surface of the water. Once the fan engines kick off in the back, there’s not much stopping this watercraft from achieving extremely fast speeds. This has been a popular option for law enforcement and those looking to jump between islands in tropical waters. There are even ACVs that are used as fishing craft because they can jet out quickly into fish friendly spots and stay buoyant for quite some time.
ACVs continue to see application for riverine and coastal activities. They’re not commonly seen as deep water craft just because of the nature of their fuel consumption. Speed comes at a sacrifice, after all.
Overall, it’s amazing to see what we’ve done through the use of jet ski technology and fans. There’s no doubt that as these hovercraft become more refined, we may even see them as a suitable daily commute option like some people use motorcycles. When given the option of soaring straight over traffic, I know I’m on board.
The next big thing we’ll have to figure out, once we get airborne in Flyboards and other hovercraft technology, is how to negotiate all that open space above our heads. Thankfully, with mobile and cellular technology being so accurate, we may just be able to have autonomous hovercraft negotiate space with each other without us even having to think about it. Imagine a world where everyone is commuting to work in autonomous cars with the occasional hovercraft soaring overhead. That’s just about every young kid’s dream come true.
For those wanting to try out the Flyboard for themselves, it’s estimated to still be in prototype for another two or so years. There’s plenty of hurdles to overcome in terms of figuring out how this Flyboard will revolutionize recreational travel. And who knows what we’ll develop in that time that will make it even safer and more reliable? That’s the beauty of living in the future.