According to reports, a turbine-powered flying board buzzed around Bastille Day celebrations carrying its inventor [Franky Zapata] toting a rifle to promote the military applications of the Flyboard Air. You can see the video record, below.
We’ve heard the board costs a cool $250,000 so you may want to start saving now. There are several versions including one that qualifies in the United States as an ultralight. The board Zapata used can reach speeds of 190 km/h and can run for up to 10 minutes, although the website claims 200 km/h is possible and the company also claims to routinely reach 140 km/h. and 6 minute flight times.
The device uses gas turbines and claims to have enough redundancy to survive an engine failure. There’s a video on the website of Zapata deliberately killing an engine to demonstrate that it works. The original Flyboard was made to fly over water, and new Flyboard pilots still train over water, presumably so that crashes don’t kill them.
We covered the Flyboard Air when it was first showing up on YouTube. We aren’t sure exactly when the fancy skateboards usurped the title of hoverboard, but we think Zapata should tell them he wants it back. If you want to fly a bit more economically, you could just go with a conventional ultralight. Just steer clear of the leaf blowers, please.