Thursday, December 6, 2007

Back to the Future Hovering Skate Board a Reality

Remember that scene in Back to the Future II where Michael J. Fox outraces a group of bullies by hijacking a little girl's pink Hoverboard? Since watching that chase scene, the plain old wheeled skateboard has never seemed quite cool enough. For decades now, we've all been coveting our own version of that magical floating board – and some geniuses have been working on making it a reality.

Even though Marty McFly doesn't set foot on a Hoverboard until 2015, today's inventors have beaten him to the punch. Our homemade Hoverboards may not be quite as sleek or speedy as the cinematic version, but they're a start. Today, you can pick up the gas-powered Future Herizons Hovercraft, which can transport skateboarders at speeds higher than 20 miles an hour. We wouldn't recommend a leap over the Grand Canyon with it just yet, though – the device can only float about 3 inches above the ground. And seeing as the floating skateboard costs $9,000, it may still be in the future for most of us, after all.

Even if the real-life Hoverboard fails to impress, there's still another space-age invention coming your way: a Jetsons-style flying car. The high-tech hover car, called the M200G Volantor, can seat two passengers and floats approximately nine feet above the ground – just low enough to avoid aircraft classification.

The company's founder, Dr. Paul Moller, believes that the Volantor is the cream of the crop when it comes to all-terrain vehicles: "You can speed over rocks, swampland, fences, or log-infested waterways with ease because you're not limited by the surface," he told Australia's Herald Sun. But if you've always idolized George and Judy Jetson, getting wheels like theirs won't come cheap: The nouveau flying saucer's price tag starts at $146,000.

Both of these gadgets may still be far beyond the horizon for the budget-conscious consumer, but at least they're out there – give it a few years and the Hoverboard might drop in price enough to be the new must-have Christmas gift for the teens in your family. And who knows? There might just be a Rosie the Robot Maid in your future, too.

The M200X volantor has completed over two hundred successful test flights. It has been extensively hard-tooled so that derivatives not requiring FAA certification are now available.

Recreational and utilitarian models include:


Demonstrators for use over one’s own property (M200D)

Versions that operate within ground effect--approximately 10 feet AGL (M200G)

Experimental or homebuilt variants (M200E)

Rescue configuration capable of docking with skyscrapers (Firefly 3)

Depending on the number of orders received, the prices could vary between $90,000 for the M200G to $450,000 for the Firefly 3. Inquires for potential military and/or para-military applications of the M200R and M200M are welcome.


erikko said...

one of my most-loved films since i was a kid

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