Aircraft

Franky Zapata zooms past farthest hoverboard flight record

Franky Zapata zooms past farth...
That backpack you see is feeding Jet A-1 fuel to the Independent Propulsion Unit under the platform
That backpack you see is feeding Jet A-1 fuel to the Independent Propulsion Unit under the platform
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Franky Zapata accepting the official Guinness World Record certificate for the farthest flight by hoverboard
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Franky Zapata accepting the official Guinness World Record certificate for the farthest flight by hoverboard
Pre-flight equipment test at the take-off point in Carry-le-Rouet
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Pre-flight equipment test at the take-off point in Carry-le-Rouet
Franky Zapata steps into the boots attached to the Flyboard Air platform
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Franky Zapata steps into the boots attached to the Flyboard Air platform
We have lift off! Franky Zapata pushes the throttle on the hand controller and clears the take-off platform
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We have lift off! Franky Zapata pushes the throttle on the hand controller and clears the take-off platform
Blowing up a storm. Franky Zapata on the Flyboard Air on his way into the record books
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Blowing up a storm. Franky Zapata on the Flyboard Air on his way into the record books
Now approaching today's top speed of around 70 km/h
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Now approaching today's top speed of around 70 km/h
That backpack you see is feeding Jet A-1 fuel to the Independent Propulsion Unit under the platform
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That backpack you see is feeding Jet A-1 fuel to the Independent Propulsion Unit under the platform
Franky Zapata has already beaten Alexandru Duru's 2014 record at this point in the record run
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Franky Zapata has already beaten Alexandru Duru's 2014 record at this point in the record run
Flying high above the Mediterranean waves, turning toward the coastline
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Flying high above the Mediterranean waves, turning toward the coastline
Franky Zapata leaves the press behind as he enters the final stretch toward Sausset-les-Pins
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Franky Zapata leaves the press behind as he enters the final stretch toward Sausset-les-Pins
Franky Zapata having a well-earned tipple before the final distance is announced
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Franky Zapata having a well-earned tipple before the final distance is announced
Official adjudicator from Guinness World Records Sofia Greenacre hands Frank Zapata his certificate for the farthest flight by hoverboard
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Official adjudicator from Guinness World Records Sofia Greenacre hands Frank Zapata his certificate for the farthest flight by hoverboard
Zapata & Fils celebrating in front of the Flyboard Air - flight distance confirmed as 2,252.4 meters
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Zapata & Fils celebrating in front of the Flyboard Air - flight distance confirmed as 2,252.4 meters
The official Guinness World Records certificate and a congratulatory trophy from the commune of Sausset-les-Pins on the Mediterranean coast
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The official Guinness World Records certificate and a congratulatory trophy from the commune of Sausset-les-Pins on the Mediterranean coast
He's got good reason to smile: the new world record holder for the farthest flight by hoverboard, Franky Zapata
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He's got good reason to smile: the new world record holder for the farthest flight by hoverboard, Franky Zapata
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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 (93 mph). 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.

Duru's record of 275.9 meters (905.2 ft) has stood since August 2014, unchallenged by any of the recent advances in Back to the Future-inspired flying board developments like the ARCA and the Hendo. That record has now gone. And then some.

He's got good reason to smile: the new world record holder for the farthest flight by hoverboard, Franky Zapata
He's got good reason to smile: the new world record holder for the farthest flight by hoverboard, Franky Zapata

During the first test run, that was featured in the now viral video earlier this month, 37 year-old Zapata managed a successful take-off, and rose in the air to zip along at up to 55 km/h (35 mph) for 3 minutes and 55 seconds.

Today, Gizmag hopped aboard the good ship Albatros and headed out into the Mediterranean near Marseille, France, to witness a world record attempt. The craft carrying members of the press and invited VIPs came to a stop just opposite a take-off platform at Carry-le-Rouet, and gently bobbed up and down in the choppy coastal waters as we waited for Zapata to get suited up and do his Green Goblin thing.

After a brief systems test, Zapata climbed into the boots attached to the Flyboard Air's carbon fiber platform and prepared for take-off. A scream from the jets and he was up and away. He skirted the coastline for about 6 or 7 minutes, flying roughly 30 meters (100 ft) above the water and reaching a top speed of around 70 km/h (44 mph), before heading into the port of Sausset-les-Pins to land safely.

Franky Zapata accepting the official Guinness World Record certificate for the farthest flight by hoverboard
Franky Zapata accepting the official Guinness World Record certificate for the farthest flight by hoverboard

Then came an anxious wait while officials verified the distance traveled. Confirmation wasn't long in coming. Zapata had smashed the previous record by a huge margin, managing to stay in the air for a jaw-dropping 2,252.4 meters (7,389.76 ft). That's going to take some beating, and we're betting that it won't be too long before Zapata himself blows his new Guinness World Record out of the water.

Source: Zapata Racing

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5 comments
mhpr262
If the board really can for fly 10 minutes at 150km/h, it theoretically ought to be able to go up to 25 km on one tank. That is some serious range. It still seems dangerous as hell though. There is no obvious safety margin whatsoever. The slightest misjudgement and those turbines will drive you into the ground like a rocket-powered lawndart.
Milton
"we're betting that it won't be too long before Zapata himself blows his new Guinness World Record out of the water." He has a tendency to blow things out of the water. lol.
jonyah
What happened to all the physicists who said this was impossible a couple of weeks ago? Are you guys all looking for new careers yet?
PhilipShropshire
I guess we can say its real now. Really incredible. What a transport that would make...
PermarParker
I don't GET the big Deal...We have had JET Packs since the 1960's. I thought the issue was the length of Time it could stay aloft. So in 50 Years THIS the best we can do? 3 minutes!!! Color me disappointed.