Up Above the World So High

By Carl Slaughter: Hover technology is making news.

They’re here. Video proof — hoverbikes are now real.

Okay, so maybe the 21st century under-delivered on the whole flying car thing, but it appears we’re a lot closer to another form of personal flight than you probably thought. It seems the hoverbike, a tried and true addition to any futuristic science fiction arsenal, is already a reality. Hoversurf just released a trailer for its first fully manned hoverbike, built on a heavy duty drone platform called the Scorpion 3, and it’s just as cool as it sounds.

 

Don’t be dubious about Dubai. Hovercraft available possibly as early as this summer.

Science fiction from the 1940s and 50s might have predicted we’d all have our very own personal flying cars by now, but back here in reality things are a bit different. Still, with Airbus, Uber, and others expressing some serious interest in creating personal sky vehicles for the world to use, it’s clear that the flying car promise wasn’t a total farce. In fact, Dubai might actually make autonomous flying vehicles a common sight as soon as this summer, and the city’s transportation authority just revealed that it’s been testing a self-driving, single passenger quadcopter from Chinese company EHang.

Hovercraft evolution. Hovercrafts, hoverbikes, now a now a hoverboat.  Holy envy, Batman.  Judging from the video, the hydrofoil technology seems to have eliminated the bumping associated with boating.  OK, now one of you science geeks explain to me what hydrofoil is.

Can we just take a moment to marvel at human ingenuity? It’s brought us the toaster, the smartphone, and now it’s given birth to this ridiculous electric boat car that has no business even existing, but it does anyway. It’s called the Quadrofoil Q2S Electric Limited Edition, and everyone on the planet should own one. I mean, just look at this ridiculous thing…

7 thoughts on “Up Above the World So High

  1. OK, now one of you science geeks explain to me what hydrofoil is.

    A hydrofoil is a structure similar to a plane wing, mounted below the hull of a boat, lifting the hull out of the water.

    It’s rather different from a hover-whatever – a hydrofoil boat does not fly by pushing air downwards, and it doesn’t quite fly above the water but is supported by struts to the subsurface wings.

    Hydrofoils itself is not new technology – boats with hydrofoils have been used for passenger traffic since at least the 70’s, and many cold war navies used hydrofoils in fast patrol crafts. But there seems to have been a bit of a resurgence lately. I suspect this is a result of lighter materials – in particular carbon fibers – that makes it easier to make a foiling boat without powerful engines.

    With a light hull you don’t even need engines, foils are also placed on sailboats – both small dinghys and larger offshore yatchs gets equipped with foils. Someone have even made a foil kayak, lifting itself out of the water on muscle power alone.

  2. According to Wikipedia, hydrofoil tech dates back to the 19th century (barely; 1898, from Italian inventor Enrico Forlanini). Alexander Graham Bell took an interest in Forlanini’s work, and made significant progress in developing it further; Bell’s HD-4 hydrofoil boat won the marine world speed (114kph; 71mph) in 1919.

    I remember reading about hydrofoils in grade school during the 1960’s, in one of the WEEKLY READER magazines of the time.

  3. When I was a kind, hydrofoil boats was the regular type of transport between Sweden and Denmark. That was before the Öresunds bridge was built.

  4. Riding that hoverbike is all fun and games until you bump into someone and CUT THEIR HEAD OFF.

  5. Hampus Eckerman: Ah, hydrofoils were the fast type of transport (and the one you tried to avoid, since they didn’t really leave time for enjoying a beer and a sandwich during the trip) betweem Malmö and Copenhagen.

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