Zapata sets new world record with 6,500 foot flight on a jet-powered hoverboard


“You won’t believe it. We will fly the clouds. My goal is to ride the clouds. Do like snowboarding in the powder, but I want to do it in a cloud. That’s my dream, and I will do my best to realize that.” Thats what Franky Zapata, the one who invented the Flyboard Air told The Verge earlier this month.

Today, the French jet ski champion has set a new Guinness World Record for the farthest hoverboard flight, a record previously held by Canadian inventor Catalin Alexandru Duru. Zapata achieved this riding his Flyboard Air hoverboard for a distance of more than 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) on Saturday morning off the coast of Sausset-les-Pins in the south of France. According to his company, Zapata Racing, the device can reach a maximum height of 10,000 feet, with a maximum speed of 150 kilometers per hour. Although officials are yet to confirm the final distance but it will far surpass the record made by Alexandru Duru of 275.9 meters (905 feet, 2 inches) set last year.

Earlier on after videos of himself riding the Flyboard Air was seen online, Zapata gained wide attention. According to him it took four years to develop the Flyboard Air, including algorithms that control the angle of its turbines and adjust its power. The Flyboard Air, uses an “Independent Propulsion Unit” to fly hose-free for up to 10 minutes, has four 250-horsepower turboengines, fueled by Jet A1 kerosene carried in a tank strapped to its rider’s back and the engines’ throttle is controlled by a hand remote.

Some others have developed gadgets similar to this, Alexandru Duru, the previous world record holder created a hoverboard that’s powered by propellers, companies also like ArcaSpace have created a hoverboard which actually hovers but fly closer to the ground. Although these were good inventions, none was as spectacular as Zapata’s Flyboard Air.

Franky Zapata (37) is the inventor of Flyboard and founder of Zapata Racing, based in Marseille, France. Zapata first came into the spotlight as a jetski racer and received the title of RUN F1 World Champion. After many years in manufacturing jetskis, he came up with the Flyboard in spring of 2011. The device was hooked to a jet ski, and allowed you to hover around 30 feet in the air. His company, Zapata Racing has developed a wide range of water-propelled devices, including the original Flyboard, which connects to a personal watercraft turbine with a long hose.

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