EZ Fly is a prototype hoverboard that can fly a full-grown human on an aerial vehicle similar to Green Goblin’s glider. The jet-powered machine can go as fast as 80 mph over water or land. Zapata Racing created the untethered vehicle and regarded it as a “real hoverboard.” They’re also the same company who made those Flyboards that uses hydro powered jets to propel humans above water. Similar technology has been seen in hoverbikes where manned aerial vehicles (MAV) can fly like a drone while carrying a human, but this prototype requires the pilot to stand. Here’s a look at the EZ Fly through a CNBC video:
EZ Fly Hoverboard
The EZ Fly is powered by seven airplane jets, so it’s a gas-guzzler. It can fly faster than the legal speed limit on US freeways, but the tradeoff is its fuel consumption of about a gallon of gas per minute. The hoverboard can reach heights rated at 9000 feet, which is way higher than the 400 feet height limit for consumer drones. For reference, a commercial airplane usually flies 30,000 feet, so the EZ Fly can fly about 1/3 that height. The flying machine was created to be easy to operate, and it keeps the pilot safe with its built-in stability algorithm. It also has some redundancy features. The test pilot in the video experienced a motor failure while flying in the air, but the EZ Fly proceeded like normal, even after a trail of smoke appeared.
Cost and Availability
The military has considered using the EZ Fly, but it has yet to be approved for consumer use since it is still in the prototype stage. One unit was estimated to cost around $250,000.
Inspiration Behind EZ Fly
Franky Zapata is a champion Jet Ski racer who was unable to become a pilot since he is color blind, so he created his own flying machine. The EZ Fly hoverboard is a MAV that can make anyone fly like Spider-Man’s arch-enemy: the Green Goblin.
Even though the EZ Fly has redundant safety features and the ability to fly 80 mph at heights of 9000 feet, its flight time may be a problem since it burns through fuel fast. It still needs to be further researched and developed, but its capability of flying a full-grown human at its prototype stage is already an achievement itself.