The French Inventor Of This Incredible Hoverboard Is Now Collaborating With The US Army

by | May 31, 2017 | Headline News | 60 comments

flyboard-air-youtube

Last year, French inventor and former jet ski champion Franky Zapata blew everyone’s mind when he unveiled his hoverboard, which he has dubbed the Flyboard Air. His invention was on display once again in Arizona last week, when he surprised onlookers by testing the Flyboard over Lake Havasu.

As for why Zapata was testing his device in Arizona of all places, it turns out that his home country recently banned him from using the Flyboard in France, over safety concerns.

Since being published, many commenters have suggested that this video is a hoax. That’s understandable considering how impressive it is. However, Zapata set a world record when he flew his hoverboard 7,388 feet last year, which was confirmed by Guinness World Records.

This device is for real, and its capabilities are amazing. So amazing in fact, that the US Army is interested in it.

The Flyboard Air allows users to fly untethered through the sky to an incredible height of 10,000ft (3,048m), which is almost seven times that of the Empire State Building.

The 37-year-old’s original Water Flyboards are popular with the likes of Justin Bieber and Kylie Jenner – but his latest invention puts Marty McFly’s hoverboard to shame.

The device uses an ‘Independent Propulsion Unit’ to fly for about ten minutes and has a top speed of 93mph (150 km/h), Zapata Racing claims.

Zapata is working with the US Army on uses for the Flyboard Air, but details of their collaboration are classified.

The former jet skier did say, however, that the plans are to make the boards available to combat soldiers.

Last year it was revealed that he had sold his company, Zapata Racing, toΒ Implant Science, a Department of Homeland Security supplier.

As for why Zapata was testing his device in Arizona of all places, it turns out that his home country has banned him from using the Flyboard in France.

However, Zapata still hopes to sell the Flyboard Air to civilians once its development is complete, though he hasn’t revealed how much it will cost. In any case, cost has never been much of a concern for the US military. As strange as it may sound, we may be seeing US soldiers zipping around on the battlefield on these hoverboards in the near future.

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    60 Comments

    1. Philosopher Deplorabilis

      WOW! That is an awesome device! I can’t imagine how much core strength it takes to stay balanced on it, that guy must have abs of steel.

      Pretty loud device too. It will be interesting to see how it is utilized by the military. Quick escapes? Rescues? Med-evac?

      • JustMe

        The US Army began testing such things in the 1950’s beginning with the Hiller Flying Platform, and a jet powered unit was tested in the 1970’s.

        The Flyboard is leaps ahead. It would probably be used in some type of recon role, nap of the earth flight. Would’nt help much in open desert though…

      • GiveThemLead

        Oh yeah and loud as hell. That will sure improve the element of surprise on the battlefield. Shoot the dope on the loud flying skateboard. And whats another $150 Billion for the MICM Military Industrial Complex Mafia for fun and games with sh!t we dont need. Rejected no more wars.

        • boyo

          It would seem it would be more effective against a disarmed populace as the pilot is a clay pigeon otherwise. Better for eradicating dissidents from above out of reach from sticks and stones.

          Sure to scare the guano out of the natives though.

        • el kabong

          I’m guessing here, but I’ll bet noise cancelling tech can and will be applied here. Same stuff that makes helicopters whisper quiet…

      • Gandhi

        Oh yeah, now the Feds have a new way to murder tax slaves. Yippi?

      • durangokidd

        Imagine what they could do with an electric battery pack instead of a tiny jet engine making all that noise. πŸ™‚

        • durangokidd

          Also these “free energy” permanent magnet generators could be reduced to power and charge these babies …. quietly.

          Amazing things are coming our way. πŸ™‚

      • B from CA

        _β€’β€’β€’β€’β€’ Viva Zapata !!!

        _

      • FraMar

        Maybe some of those places, but not on the battlefield. They make EASY TARGETS.

      • Smokey

        Just traveling over rough terrain could be good too.

        Seems like a 4WD rig, though. As long as you know 4H gets you in where you want to go and 4L gets you out, you should be OK.

    2. crappenstix

      Betcha they make it a new Olympic sport.

      • durangokidd

        Not likely now that DARPA has it under control. πŸ™‚

      • JustMe

        That would be awesome πŸ™‚

    3. grandee

      pardon a dumb house wife question…

      as far as a military option,

      wouldn’t he be easy to just pick off, like shooting a duck with a smart bullet???

      • Outlaw

        I’m thinking along the same lines as you grandee. I’m not sure he could actually accurately fire a weapon on this thing. What use would it serve well for the “battlefield”.

        • Kevin2

          A WWII Marine vet said that about helicopters. In Vietnam they did their best to stay over trees and move fast. There was little time to sight in on one under those circumstances. Over a clearing, look out. Landing and takeoff were their greatest vulnerable times.

          An enemy now is forced to look 180 degrees from ground up to the sky. Speed, movement of supplies. The military applications are almost endless.

          • Gandhi

            Very few helicopter pilots who started in vietnam survived to the end. Pilots were shot so often the army even let maintenance people fly choppers sometimes. But the purpose of the hover board project is more of an easy job project for some general plus they can use it to serve drinks poolside at the army officers club.

            • Kevin2

              Gandhi

              Things were bad for them but not that bad.

              Total helicopter pilots killed in the Vietnam War was 2,202. Total non-pilot crew members was 2704. Based on a database I got recently from the Pentagon, we estimate that over 40,000 helicopter pilots served in the Vietnam War.

      • laeagle

        With due respect ma’am, I do not consider that a dumb question at all! I believe most of our duck hunters down here in Louisiana could easily drop that bird. There are those who could do it with a rifle too! I know for sure my mother could’ve. You would have to fly very high if you want to get out of range.

        Louisiana Eagle

      • durangokidd

        No one has “smart” bullets but the USA. πŸ™‚

        • Gandhi

          Meh, our bullets aren’t that smart. Expensive, but not very smart.

      • buttcrackofdoom

        i am willing to bet a drone is a MUCH better weapon….and a LOT safer.

    4. crappenstix

      Put a rug over it and call it a flying carpet.

    5. crappenstix

      Remember those cheezy Japanese movies with Gamera the flying turtle. He had that
      afterburner shooting a flame out his dukey chute.

    6. Outlaw

      Doesn’t seem like he can actually hover though. Seems like he must be in motion to maintain balance. Would be pretty tough to actually engage in battle while in motion?

      • durangokidd

        Once this thing has been “muffled and silenced” by going electric/magnetic, it would make great vehicles to move a SEAL Team in and out of rough terrain; and a way to quickly move a fireteam with automatic weapons AROUND an enemy position and outflank them, moving only a few hundred yards, or a mile or two, at most.

        Think tactically.

        One of the reasons the South lost at Gettysburg is because they couldn’t “turn the corner” on the Union troops at Roundtop. Once this thing is perfected, it will be GAME CHANGER !!!

        Can you say “Commander Cody” ??? πŸ™‚

      • boyo

        As exoskeletons come out they can integrate into other tech allowing the exo to take brunt of stabilization. AI can aim weapon or HUD in helmet. Plausible.

        Or just remove human factor all together. Project : Murder of Crows has just been initiated.

    7. Dan

      The U.S army is STILL having troubles locating and disarming I.E.D’s. The U.S army is also STILL having troubles with militant guerrillas camping in the mountains. The Soviet army likewise had troubles with these guerrillas. These new modern devices are all fantasy’s and jokes. Until we find ways to stop dying from 1980 funded, and uneducated armed locals, we are as far into the future as we can already be. Funny, 21st century technologies and skills yet we can’t beat some militants using stuff from 19th/20st.

      • Kevin2

        High tech fights hi tech well. That peasant with an unknown political / religious loyalty with a rifle hid somewhere can nickel and dime you to death, literally. IEDs costing $5, the booby trap of old, likewise thwarts systems worth millions.

        Any country can be occupied by a superior force. Running it effectively to obtain its economic reward with armed civilians that don’t want you there is real difficult, not impossible but it takes time, patience and frustration. Occupiers are known to pack up and leave under the circumstances.

      • GiveThemLead

        Cut the Military budget in half each year for the next 4 years and close half of all foreign US bases world wide. Bunch of ignormaouses. They have not won a war since WW2. Stop rewarding failure.

        • JustMe

          Given the current state of the overall situation, did we really “win” WW2? It was just a big battle, in an eon-long global takeover. And, our participation in that battle has allowed marxism, ad nauseum to flourish. Look at our streets, our borders, etc. Every victory is short-lived…

          • buttcrackofdoom

            plus one!

        • Gandhi

          Yeah, what did we win in WWII? I think it was the idea that everyone had to use USdollars so we could turn on our printing press and bankers could buy everything for free.

      • Waiting

        I agree with you, they need to find ways to deal with 1980’s funded uneducated armed locals first. This is not feasible to use in a war. This is just the new toy they want to play with. It would be easy to blow it out of the sky.

      • durangokidd

        If you are not using the roads, but flying over them, you will not be running over I.E.D’s or following a set route.

        Again, think tactically people. Obviously some of you do not have any military experience. πŸ™

    8. Orion

      Hahahahahahahahaha… Put a hundred pound ruck on his back and see how far he gets… Hell just his service weapon and a few mags and he’d be a boat anchor… This is what is know as “flights of fancy”… Think F-35…

      • Kevin2

        The engine will get even better. The mating of GPS to it to ferry in supplies during battle and wounded out is another use. Have bad guys in a building. Can’t get to the roof? No problem. No reason that can’t be designed for prone use to make a lower profile and have a stable firing platform.

        • buttcrackofdoom

          why can’t a drone do all that?

          • Kevin2

            A drone certainly can do that but can’t put its boots on the ground. This thing could be both a method to ferry troops in and then perform the drone functions of fire support and an “eye in the sky”. Who has this controls the battle space as one side has mobility that the other does not possess. Now in the event of both having it the battlefield becomes a half sphere. Given time some 3rd world peasant with a cause will find very ingenious ways to mitigate its effectiveness. Crippling the device at 100 ft is likely fatal to the operator. In the high tech arena an EMF generator destroying flight control and power. The heat signature should be significant just from the obvious energy demand to lift 300 lbs or so.

            Weapon, counter measure, counter counter measure, counter counter counter measure. This keep MIC in business.

      • durangokidd

        Think F-35 ??? No, I think “Wart Hog” !!! πŸ™‚

    9. Whatever works

      10,000ft? I hope he wears a parachute….though a fall at the low altitude he is flying at in the picture is too low for a chat and just high enough to severely injure or kill you…

      Still, very cool.

      • Whatever works

        Chat should be chute……#autocorrect

    10. Templar 1

      Laugh all you want but what you are seeing is the future.

      Drones were toys 2 decades ago and now, they are still small, but have to be registered because of their performance and capabilities.
      Cars that drive themselves are already on the road.

      What comes next I wonder??????

      • Waiting

        I will never trust a car that drives itself. After all this is a piece of machinery we’re talking about and machines fail and malfunction. At least if a car driven by a person fails the driver can improvise and perhaps control the damage. For instance brakes fail, you can use shifting down to lower gear or throw into reverse. Nothing can take the place of humans, God’s creation.

    11. lolzngiggles

      That is crazy impressive. Duck hunting is one thing (I prefer trap and skeet), but imagine that with a quieter exhaust and at night in all black? Those would be modern ninjas. What if you were wearing some ghost in the shell Sh*t? lolz

    12. navyguy

      Nice… Battlefield skeet shooting!
      PULL!
      Reminds me of Mel Brooks… Peasant Shooting in History of the World part 1.

    13. TheGuy

      Call Spiderman…

    14. Neal Jensen

      One bullet from a well hidden spider hole. And remember you don’t have to kill them just hit them once and virtually any bullet impact will do enough trauma to make the pilot go to ground. He can’t see the enemy, can’t hear the enemy especially over the engine noise, can get stable enough to fire a weapon accurately much less pilot and shoot because he has the controller in one hand, much less multitask both flying, navigating obstacles at low altitude and engage in combat…at lastly, it’s not the flying part that kills you, but when you fragile naked app body STOPS SUDDENLY, when you hit the ground or any other object at any speed. Like a human has never stubbed a toe, bumped their head on something, or walked into a door frame or tripped or tackled…ad nauseum. And they completely forget g forces of turns or sudden elevation changes or God help you your hoverboard engine quits due to failure nor lack of go juice….it’s not the flying that hurts it’s when gravity takes over. Ask the Navy Seal that went splat over the weekend. Just saying.

      • Gandhi

        It would be cool if it inverted the pilot and pile drove him into the ground like a post? No need to bury them on the battlefield that way? I am glad I am not in the military where they could order you to fly that POS into battle to test it. My Dad always said to never volunteer for any jobs while in the military because if it was a good job some SOB would already have it.

    15. Mo

      A little over 110 years ago the Wright brothers flew a few hundred feet. As a retired Army Instructor Pilot and Green Beret, I see unlimited potential.

    16. Neal Jensen

      The general idea is watching human fails on bikes or motorcycles or just in general…and you get the idea, never mind getting shot, never mind clotheslining your self on and myriad power or utility lines or you hoverboard hits something and stops but you don’t…..this is a great novelty for playing around or maybe short range travel hops, but combat or combat support? Very bad idea, it’s a suicide deathwish.

    17. aljamo

      What a joke! The criminals can kill more people developing this contraption, have to have it. The American people blindly being led to their own deaths while otherwise occupied with fear staged by their own government terror around the world. It doesn’t get much more stupid than this.

    18. Agent76

      America was warned by the creator of the Military Industrial Complex. Besides they all catch fire and explode and is just more waste fraud and abuse by the Pentagon.

      Eisenhowers Farewell Address Jan. 1961

      Here is the warning given to the American people, and chillingly represents what is happening today. A short video of Eisenhowers speech and the Military Industrial “Congressional” Complex.

      https://youtu.be/_bqr5DVx3dw

    19. logicrazy

      I seem to remember seeing a flying trashcan looking thing that was made in the 70’s.

    20. Brian

      I’m still waiting on the cloak of invisibility which they were supposed to have ready by now.

    21. Frank Thoughts

      I can see it now: a couple same-sex US soldiers holding hands as they fly on their hover boards. Maybe dip on over to Mr Green Beans for a lover’s latte, or maybe a little shopping for mini skirts at the P-X, or scoot on over for some burgers at the base Burger King. The radical Islamists will swoon at the sweet scene.

      How about I give you another scenario: pull your butt plugs out and start f-ing doing your job and killing radical Islamists and terrorists LIKE YOU CLAIMED YOU were doing back in 2001!! Remember 2001? Half the US military were in diapers then. But I will re-cap: you have had the time of THREE World War Twos and you still haven’t locked down Afghanistan, a country populated by dip sh#ts with beards and wearing khaki coloured diapers. So, put your Super Hero Fan Boy dreams on hold and … do your job.

      • Neal Jensen

        Spot on.

    22. Jack Be Nimble

      Add a leaf blower attachment and clear the leaves off fifty roofs tops for the price of one! The French leaf bower lobby probably kept him grounded in France.

    23. Roland Deschain

      His home country of France banned him flying it there over “safety concerns”. The whole of Europe has become “pussified”. It’s no wonder they are being taken over by jihadis.

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