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If you spend enough time on the internet, it's hard not to be a skeptic. The web is chock full of producers of vaporware who promise incredible feats, collect truckloads of investors' money, then disappear into the ether from whence they came.
So, when we heard about the Flyboard Air—a product claiming to be a real, functional hoverboard—we admittedly rolled our eyes. Most of us have daydreamed about flying effortlessly through the sky on personal aircraft, but people have been making fantastic claims about this subject since before the Wright brothers were born. Is it really possible with current technology?
Well, if you believe the following incredible video from French company Zapata Racing, then yes it is. See for yourself:
Zapata Racing has already developed the impressive original Flyboard, a hydro-propulsion device that allows its user to soar several stories over the surface of a body of water. The new Flyboard Air doesn't use water jets, but it's not entirely clear how the device works, since the company has not released specifics yet. It's currently theorized that it uses a jet turbine engine hooked to a backpack full of fuel (the video seems to support this).
In this video, Zapata takes the Flyboard Air up to a speed of about 34mph (55 kph), but the company says the hoverboard can nearly triple that figure at a top speed of 93mph. The Flyboard Air is also claimed to ascend to 10,000 feet—that's almost as much as a recreational skydiver. The company says maximum autonomous flight time is 10 minutes. It may not sound like a lot, but at highway speeds, you could cover a lot of distance.
Before you get hyped about bugging out via your personal hoverboard, or playing Green Goblin and mounting weapons on one of these, there's a catch. It took the company 4 years to produce this working prototype, and the finalized Flyboard Air will not be ready for release to the public until at least 2017. Government approvals from the FAA may also slow the process down even further.
However, assuming the video above is legit, we're interested to see what the future holds for this vehicle. It could definitely serve as a quick way to get out of Dodge.
For more info on the Flyboard Air, visit Zapata-Racing.com.