Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Back To The Future…Military Redux

If you are a fan of 1980s movies, than you are familiar with the “Back to the Future” trilogy and have wanted a hoverboard ever since. Not to be confused with the Samsung Hoverboard, which is neither a hoverboard (wheels touching the ground would indicate that it is not hovering, and therefore… not a hoverboard), nor reliable, often catching on fire while charging.

“GREAT SCOTT!” Thankfully, a French inventor, Franky Zapata, created his own hoverboard. On April 30, 2016, Zapata demonstrated his hoverboard off the southern coast of France. The demonstration showed the board could travel at least forty miles per hour over more than a mile, propelled by four jet engines controlled by a remote. Zapata claims it can travel up to ten thousand feet high and ninety miles per hour.

Several militaries have reached out to Zapata to work together, and he verbally committed to working with the French military first for search and rescue and counterterrorism. The device could allow police and the military to do their jobs more effectively than before; the boards will allow greater mobility and timely response than conventional transportation. Search and rescue in Maine has already begun to innovate by including a number of different long-range drones. Having a human conducting the search instead of a drone would allow help to arrive to a trapped person at the moment they are found.  The addition of hoverboards will allow police and military to maneuver more like a drone with the control and response of a human, as well as reach narrow and remote locations through the air. 

The United States military announced plans to work with the United Kingdom to develop their own hoverbike in June 2015. The hoverbike is in the development stages and has not conducted a public demonstration. It is unknown if the United States or United Kingdom has taken an interest in the hoverboard, or plan to specialize in hoverbikes.

The real hoverboard will also fare better than McFly’s hoverboard over water…

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