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Zapata Flyboard

Aircraft Feature

These boots were made for flying: A chat with France's very own jet-powered fly boy, Franky Zapata

On the last day of April we joined Zapata Racing in the south of France to witness an attempt to remain aloft for more than 280 meters and snatch the "farthest flight by hoverboard" record from Alexandru Duru. That record was pulverized when the Flyboard Air covered over 2 km in around seven minutes. We managed to grab a few words with a jubilant but quite exhausted Franky Zapata after his record-breaking flight.Read More

Aircraft

Franky Zapata zooms past farthest hoverboard flight record

A couple of weeks go we revealed the Flyboard Air, jet-ski champion Frank Zapata's latest attempt to launch himself skyward. The Air ditches the jet ski, the hose and the tether of the original Flyboard in favor of a jet-powered board that's reportedly capable of a potential top ground speed of 150 km/h. And now it has carried Zapata into the record books for the farthest flight by hoverboard, knocking Alexandru Duru off his perch by some considerable margin.Read More

Aircraft

Franky Zapata's awesome Flyboard Air redefines the concept of a hoverboard

Franky Zapata's water-jet Flyboards have very quickly become a popular vacation experience, but the French jet ski champion has bigger goals in mind. Over the weekend, he released the first video that claims to show his new Flyboard Air in action. The Air ditches the water jet for what appears to be a jet turbine engine, and allows him to fly untethered through the sky to a maximum height of 10,000 feet and a maximum endurance of 10 minutes. It's early days yet, but we humbly propose a jet race against David Mayman and his JB-9 Jetpack.Read More

Marine Feature

The Jetovator flying water bike adds momentum to the "firehose" market

The propagation of new thought in any global arena doesn't take long these days and with rapid development teams capable of building and testing prototypes in just a few months, entire markets can seemingly spring from nowhere. In 2009, JetLev showed its US$100,000 Jetlev (top left). Within months of production starting, French PWC legend Franky Zapata recognized that most of the hardware required for such a device was already contained in a PWC and created the Flyboard (top right) - a US$7500 accessory that attaches to any existing PWC with 150 plus horsepower. Now the people who brought you the Sea Breacher (bottom left) have completed a long-standing project to build the Jetovator (bottom right), a jet bike with a motorcycle seating position and controls. Three competitors makes a market - and all inside three short years.Read More

Marine

Zapata's outrageous, US$6,600 Flyboard - Aquaman meets Iron Man

We don't think Franky Zapata knows what's about to hit him. The French jet ski champion has just put together an absolutely insane leisure product, released a short video about it - and then took off on honeymoon, where presumably he's having about the least romantic getaway of his life as his phone and email inbox go absolutely bananas. And here it is: the Zapata Flyboard. This ingenious and deceptively simple device bolts on to the powerful motor of a jet ski, then routes the resulting water jet through a long hose that connects to a pair of jet boots and hand-held stabilisers. The arrangement lets you fly, Iron Man style, up to 9 metres in the air - or leap headfirst through the waves like a human dolphin. The best part? You can buy it for under 5000 Euro (US$6700). That is, once Franky digs his way out from under the avalanche of orders he's going to come home to.Read More

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