Flyboard: Iron Man-Style Jet Pack

Backwards somersault using the Flyboard

Backwards somersault using the Flyboard

There are many inventions that have been taken from movies and TV, you just need to look at the Star Trek series and even the Hanna-Barbera cartoon The Jetsons to know that inspiration can come from the most unlikeliest places. As it happens another water based invention has also been inspired by popular superhero movie, Iron Man.

Powerful water jets

In the footage Franky Zapata uses a Flyboard to zoom in and out of the water and leap through the air, moves reminiscent of the agile water bound creature that is the dolphin.

The Flyboard evidently allows you to cut through water and fly out into the air, the powerful suit was created by Zapata who is a water sports fan and was born in Marseille, France. Using the suit requires the user to strap their feet to the powerful water jets which will provide lift, and the flight is stabilised by the hand-guided nozzles.

The Flyboard looks to be an improvement on the Jetlev jetpack which was also water-powered, the Jetlev did not allow the user to dive in and out of the water the way the Flyboard does. The big difference between the two is price, the Flyboard costs £4,200 whereas the  Jetlev costs a shocking £60,000.

This is even more surprising when you take into account what the two suits are able to do, it could easily mean that the Jetlev would be priced out of the market if the two where ever to appear in the mass market.

The mechanics used on both are very similar, with water being sucked using a sizeable hose from the whatever water source is under them. This hose is then attached to a jetski and blasted back out again. The water power can be controlled and adjusted by an operator on the jetski, for the Flyboard the power needs to be set at 100hp at the very minimum so that it operates at its optimum.

Backwards somersaults

It does not appear as if you could wear the suit and pull of the manoeuvres seen in the video, but with a little practice you too will be able to launch yourself out from the water reaching some incredible heights with 30ft from the water level achievable.

Zapata who is highly skilled is able to perform many tricks including backwards somersaults, clearly displaying he is no amateur.

It could start a craze with others building or purchasing their own, it goes without saying that equipment such as this could serve in many its purpose in many different roles, from military to even those lifeguards on the beach.

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