Franky Zapata, a real-life Green Goblin, made headlines a few years ago with the release of his Flyboard Air. Now, a newly updated version might finally bring this invention to market.
If you’re like me, The Jetsons made you think you’d have a flying car by now. You might also be familiar with Spiderman villain Green Goblin and his infamous glider.
We have autonomous cars. We kind of have hoverbikes. Believe it or not, we are pretty close to flying cars.
In fact, Uber just revealed designs of their “UberAir” Skyports. Yet, flying car transportation is still a long way off–at least, by 2018 standards.
However, while it might not be a car, the Flyboard Air will have you soaring through the sky like Green Goblin’s glider.
A Volatile History for the French Innovator
The video above shows Zapata piloting his new prototype that has triple redundancy. They call it the “safest, easiest, most maneuverable and cost-efficient personal aviation system.”
Well, it certainly looks very exciting and futuristic.
Zapata says that hydro flight inspired him to pursue hover technology. He had a long interview with The Verge in 2016 detailing his initial vision and testing.
Initial footage released met with comments of “this is a hoax” and “they just edited out the hose of a water jet”. But the bad news didn’t stop at naysayers in random comment sections on the internet.
France banned Zapata from flying his Flyboard Air in 2017 for “failure to comply with the minimum rules for overflight and operation of an aircraft without the necessary qualifications.”
The video shows how loud the Flyboard Air can be, so Zapata’s invention and subsequent ban prompted new conversations among French lawmakers.
A Successful new Venture
The new Flyboard Air features turbine engines and hand-held flight controls. It also consolidates thrust for better speed and maneuverability. The engine redundancy mitigates the impact of losing an engine, as well.
Their website even details various applications including military and industrial. However, when you try to locate a place to rent a Flyboard, the website returns a 404 error.
My dreams of flying — in a car, on a glider, or otherwise — remain out of reach.
Nevertheless, hopefully the ambition of Zapata and his team can help that dream come to fruition at some point in the future.