We’re still patiently waiting for the mass-market hoverboard promised to us by Back to the Future II, and the new ArcaBoard might be a step in the right direction. Maybe.
Instead of using magnet technology to create lift (a la the Hendo hoverboard), which requires a special magnetic surface for use, the ArcaBoard (created by private space company Arca) basically straps a boatload of ultra-powerful fans into a thick rectangle with enough power to lift a human off the ground. It isn’t really all that elegant, and the 1.0 version of the device isn’t that attractive — but it works.
The ArcaBoard is described as an electric powered flying machine with 272 horsepower and 203,000 watts of installed power, making it the “most powerful and lightest personal vehicle ever created.” ArcaBoard is built from composite materials, has a length of 57x30x6 inches and weighs 180 pounds. But, despite the heft, the rig can lift a person who weighs up to 243 pounds off the ground. Not exactly portable, but hey. It's a start.
“ArcaBoard represents a revolution in motion. For the last 17 years we have developed aerospace technologies that looked to the sky. We took our knowledge and applied it to everyone’s dreams. Dreams of flying,” Dumitru Popescu, CEO of ARCA Space Corporation, said in a statement.
As cool as all that sounds, this device probably isn’t the thing you need to start zipping around downtown Hill Valley. It can fly one foot off the ground and has a max speed of 12.5 mph (though the video demo below makes this thing look crazy hard to control). It can also only run for 6 minutes before it needs a 35-minute recharge. Oh, and there’s also the price tag — the ArcaBoard will set you back a cool $19,900 when it starts shipping in April 2016.
A step in the right direction? Absolutely. But this probably isn’t the hoverboard you’ve been waiting for.
(Via Arca Space Corporation)