Hover Boards May Have Defense Applications Yet: Report

French manufacturer Zapata has released video of its new Flyboard Air.French manufacturer Zapata has released video of its new Flyboard Air.

Props to Jen Judson, a reporter for Defense News, who landed an exclusive interview with the guy who’s trying to sell hover boards to the U.S. military.

In a story published Thursday on the organization’s website, Judson writes about Bob Liscouski, president of Implant Sciences Corp., the Massachusetts-based maker of products to detect explosives, who explains why he wants to buy Zapata Industries SAS, based in Marseilles, France, and maker of the super cool Flyboard Air.

As we’ve written about on this blog in the past, the Flyboard Air is designed to strap onto a user’s feet, lofting him or her as high as 10,000 feet into the air (or higher with oxygen). The device can reach speeds of more than 90 miles per hour and fly for around 10 minutes.

At the time video surfaced earlier this year of owner and jet-ski racer Franky Zapata soaring on the device, little was known about its engine system — save for it evolving from a previous product called the Flyboard that used a hose and jet stream of water for propulsion.

Judson reports the Flyboard Air uses “four jet engines” and a algorithm-based control system for “balance control and redundancies to safeguard an engine failure.”

As August Cole, who wrote the book “Ghost Fleet” with futurist Peter Singer, saw the story and noted on Twitter, “Sweet hardware, but control algorithm is as interesting/important to defense.”

We’re curious to hear more about how special operators might employ such a device.

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.