Whether it be Marty McFly’s hoverboard or Harry Potter’s broomstick, fiction has often entertained the idea of levitating mid-air or gliding through it. But, this stimulating possibility of being able to freely maneuver in the air is already a reality today. There are several flying machines out there that help the rider travel in mid-air.
In this article, we take a look at various machines, such as a large hovering platform or a powerful jetpack, that make it possible for humans to course through the air like birds. Although not mainstream yet, these vehicles are slowly but surely progressing and show us glimpses of what might become a regular part of our lives in the future.
If you want to read less and see more of what we are talking about, make sure to watch these flying machines in action in the video below.
“Straight outta sci-fi”: Real flying machines
Zapata’s Flyboard Air is an innovative flying machine unlike any other. It is a compact yet capable vehicle that relies on 5 powerful turbines to go as high as 3000m (9842.5ft) and as fast as 200kmph (124.3mph). In its current form, it can carry up to 120kg/264.5lbs and can last for 10 minutes in the air.
Interestingly, this machine can function even if one of its two engines fails. In the worst-case scenario of both engines failing, it enables the pilot to make a safe landing, which is a great safety feature.
At the first glance, the Jetwing from Jetman Dubai looks strikingly similar to the winged jetpack used by MCU’s Falcon. When it comes to soaring the skies like the Marvel superhero, it does an impressive job as well.
More precisely, this aircraft helps the user reach an altitude of 6,100m (3790.3ft) and touch speeds of 407.4kmph (253.1mph). In its tests, it has covered a maximum distance of 50km (~31mi) and traveled for a maximum of 13 minutes.
The Scorpion 3 is the latest hovercraft from Hoversurf. As obvious from its design, it merges a motorcycle with a drone to achieve flight. It can lift up to 104kgs or 229.2lbs of weight, reach heights of around 10m (~33ft), and go as fast as 69.2kmph (43mph). On a single charge, it can run for up to 20-40 minutes and cover up to 20.9km (13mi). For going another round, this flying machine would need charging for 3 hours to go from zero to a hundred.
Gravity Jet Suit
The Jet Suit from Gravity is an ingenious creation that went through various iterations to reach its current form. It consists of a jetpack worn at the back and a couple of boosters worn on both forearms. This flying suit employs a 1050bhp engine to allow the user to reach speeds of 88.5kmph or 55mph conveniently. However, its estimated flight duration at the time is in the range of 5-10 minutes.
Currently, Gravity Jet Suit uses diesel or jet fuel to function. For making it more efficient, the firm is actively looking at ways to replace the fuel-powered engine with an electric engine.
Martin Jetpack is an example of what years of dedicated research and experimentation can achieve. After over three decades of work, the firm currently sports a jetpack equipped with unrivaled performance and safety features.
It has multiple function modes, namely manned, unmanned, and mule, which add good flexibility. Moreover, it can carry a maximum load of 100kg, travel up to 100kmph, and has an endurance of around 30 minutes. In addition to that, Martin Jetpack can hover as high as 0.76km (2,500ft) and has a range of more than 20km (12.4mi).
Given the groundbreaking engineering and promising application behind these flying machines, there’s little doubt that we could eventually see at least one of them become prevalent in the future.
If this article kept you hooked till now, make sure to take a look at another innovative vehicle, Manta5 — the bike that can travel on water.