EVER since Marty McFly arrived in 2015 in “Back to the Future Part II” and discovered a levitating skateboard, people have tried to make one for real.
But the film’s prediction, made in 1989, never quite came true. Although so-called hoverboards have created quite a public splash this Christmas (see Schumpeter) they do not really count. They use a wheel (or wheels) to do their “hovering”, with fancy electronics and stabilisers keeping them upright. A few boards that really do hover, employing magnets for the task, have been demonstrated—but these work only over appropriate metal surfaces. Various lash-ups, including one powered by four leaf-blowers that seems more hovercraft than hoverboard, have also appeared. Film of hoverboarders gliding across a car park in Los Angeles turned out to be an elaborate YouTube hoax.
As 2015 turns into 2016, however, something resembling the real thing is going on sale. The ArcaBoard (pictured) does, admittedly, look like a giant iPhone case rather than a skateboard. But it truly does hover. It is 145cm long by 76cm wide (57×30 inches), is built from composite materials and contains 36 high-powered electric ducted fans of the type used to fly model jet aeroplanes. The fans are run by a pack of 72 lithium-polymer batteries, which provide just over 200 kilowatts of power. That, the manufacturers claim, is sufficient to lift and carry someone weighing 82kg (180lbs). In the ArcaBoard’s current configuration it can do this for six minutes. A beefed-up version is able to lift heavier people, but its flight duration drops to three minutes.
The ArcaBoard has been developed by ARCA Space, a Romanian aerospace company founded in 1999 that recently moved its headquarters to Las Cruces, New Mexico. The firm has built a number of rockets and high-altitude drones, and has worked with the European Space Agency. The hoverboard arose from a discussion among the firm’s engineers about whether such a machine was possible, says Dragos Muresan, one of ARCA Space’s vice-presidents. They built a prototype and successfully rode on it. As enthusiasm for the idea grew, the company decided to put the device into production. The first hoverboards should be delivered in April.
Read more: A real hoverboard – Skating with McFly
The Latest on: Hoverboard
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The Latest on: Hoverboard
- Fire caused by charging hoverboard forces window escapeon October 10, 2021 at 4:16 pm
A house blaze in Massachusetts that forced a woman and baby to escape through a window is being blamed on a charging hoverboard. Authorities say the woman called 911 from the Wareham house early ...
- Charging hoverboard sparks house fire in Massachusetts, officials sayon October 9, 2021 at 4:42 pm
WE BEGIN WITH BREAKING NEWS THIS MORNING. A WOMAN HAD TO CLIMB OUT OF A WINDOW WITH HER INFANT DAUGHTER TOET G AWAY FROM A FIRE STARTED ABY HOVERBOARD AT THEIR HOME IN WAREHAM OVERNIGHT.
- Charging hoverboard sparks house fire in Massachusetts, officials sayon October 9, 2021 at 3:36 pm
A WOMAN HAD TO CLIMB OUT OF A WINDOW WITH HER INFANT DAUGHTER TOET G AWAY FROM A FIRE STARTED ABY HOVERBOARD AT THEIR HOME IN WAREHAM OVERNIGHT. POLICE THERE SAY SHE TOLD THEM SHE THREW PILLOWS OUT OF ...
- Woman, Baby Escape Wareham Fire Caused By Hoverboardon October 9, 2021 at 10:39 am
The Wareham Fire Department believes the blaze was started by a charging hoverboard. Firefighters responded to Rose Point Avenue around 1 a.m. READ MORE: Boston Marathon Weather Forecast ...
- Woman and baby escape through window during fire in Warehamon October 9, 2021 at 8:50 am
The woman threw pillows on the ground outside of the first-floor window, fire officials said. She placed the infant outside on the pillows before climbing out herself.
- Woman, infant escape Wareham house fire sparked by charging hoverboardon October 9, 2021 at 5:03 am
WAREHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - Fire officials say a charging hoverboard was to blame for an early morning blaze that forced a woman and her infant to escape their Wareham home through a window.
- Fire officials: Charging hoverboard to blame for early morning blaze in Warehamon October 9, 2021 at 5:03 am
WAREHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - Firefighters on Saturday battled an early morning blaze in Wareham allegedly sparked by a charging hoverboard. Crews received a call around 1 a.m. from a woman who said she ...
- Charging hoverboard sparks house fire in Massachusetts, officials sayon October 8, 2021 at 5:00 pm
A woman and her infant child had to evacuate their Massachusetts home through a window after a charging hoverboard sparked a fire inside, according to officials. The Wareham Fire Department said ...
- The best Cyber Monday hoverboard deals 2021: what we expect to seeon September 29, 2021 at 11:21 pm
We'll be rounding up the best Cyber Monday hoverboard deals later this year. Here's what to expect on the day.
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