Flyboard Air

Flyboard Air is a type of jetpack/hoverboard powered by gas turbines.[1] It was invented by French water-craft rider Franky Zapata, founder of Zapata racing.

It achieved a Guinness World Record for farthest flight by hoverboard in April 2016 of 2,252.4 m (7,389.8 ft; 2,463.3 yd; 1.4 mi).[2] Zapata Racing claims that it allows flight up to an altitude of 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) and has a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph). It also has 10 minutes' endurance.[3] The load capacity is 102 kg (225 lb). The "jet-powered hoverboard" is powered by five turbines and is fueled by kerosene.[4]

Zapata participated in the 2019 Bastille Day military parade riding his invention.[5] His attempt to cross the English Channel on 25 July 2019 failed as he fell into the sea at the refuelling platform.[6][7] A second crossing attempt on 4 August 2019 succeeded.[8] Escorted by French Army helicopters and using a backpack fuel reservoir, he accomplished the journey – 35 kilometres (22 mi) – with one refueling stop at the midpoint. Zapata reached a speed of 177 km/h (110 mph) during the 20-minute flight. The trip started at Sangatte in the Pas-de-Calais department in France and concluded at St Margaret's at Cliffe in Kent, United Kingdom where he landed safely.[9][10]

Zapata's company, Z-AIR, had received a €1.3 million grant from the French military. However, he has said that the flyboard was not yet ready for military use due to the noise it creates and the challenge of learning how to fly the device.[11] In a France Inter radio interview, France's Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly said the flyboard might eventually be suitable, "for example as a flying logistical platform or, indeed, as an assault platform".[12]

In 2017, Zapata had provided the U.S. Army with demonstrations of the Flyboard Air "jet-powered hoverboard" or "jet-powered personal aerial vehicle", referred to as the EZ-Fly;[13] news reports suggested the price per unit might be $250,000.[14] A July 2019 report provided no indication of any serious interest by the American military as of that time for this new technology.[15]

On 4 August 2019, Zapata told BFM TV that he was working on building a flying car, that he hoped to introduce before year-end. He said that he had flown a prototype chassis powered by four gas turbines but the final model would employ ten turbines in order to cruise at 310–400 kilometres per hour (190–250 mph), and achieve a range of about 110 kilometres (68 mi).[16]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Flyboard® Air". Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  2. ^ Lynch, Kevin (2016-04-30). "Confirmed: Franky Zapata sets new Farthest hoverboard flight record in France". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  3. ^ "Flyboard® air en". Zapata Racing. 2014-06-20. Archived from the original on 2016-05-29. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  4. ^ "Flying Frenchman Franky Zapata completes jet-powered hoverboard Channel crossing". ITV.
  5. ^ Élysée (2019-07-14), Défilé du 14 juillet 2019, retrieved 2019-07-15
  6. ^ Willsher, Kim (25 July 2019). "Franky 'Flyboard' Zapata fails in attempt to cross Channel". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  7. ^ Allyn, Bobby (25 July 2019) Franky Zapata Falls In English Channel Trying To Cross It On High-Speed Hoverboard National Public Radio, Retrieved 27 July 2019
  8. ^ "Someone just flew across 21 miles of open water on a jet-powered flyboard". Digital Trends. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Franky Zapata crosses Channel by hoverboard at second attempt". The Guardian. 2019-08-04. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  10. ^ "Franky Zapata: French inventor successfully crosses Channel by hoverboard". The Independent. 2019-08-04. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  11. ^ "Franky Zapata crosses Channel by hoverboard at second attempt". The Guardian.
  12. ^ "Franky Zapata: Flyboarding Frenchman crosses English Channel". BBC News.
  13. ^ "Flyboard Air - Homme volant". Zapata. Retrieved 2019-08-06.
  14. ^ Trevithick, Joseph. "One Company Thinks Flying Platforms Have Finally Come Of Age, But Will The Military Hop On Board?". The Drive. Retrieved 2019-08-06.
  15. ^ Task (2019-07-16). "The French Just Made a Great Case for Outfitting Soldiers with 'Flyboards'". The National Interest. Retrieved 2019-08-06.
  16. ^, Flyboard Air inventor plans to unveil 250-mph flying sports car by 2020

External linksEdit