It's not the next James Bond shoot, but rather a very unusual project that the French company, Zapata Racing, based near Marseille (French southern coast), has been working on since 2012. Called the Flyboard Air, and weighing 44 lbs (20 kg) the machine is provided with two ski board-like feet attachments to help you feel at one with the machine.
Equipped with two stabilisers and four micro-turbojets developing 1,000 hp, engine power is by remote control, and although the machine’s guidance is ultra-sensitive, the stance required is much like that for for skating or roller blading, by using the body and feet.
At present it is still in the prototype stage, but its inventor, former Jet Ski world champion, Franky Zapata, has flight-tested the machine many times over the last five months at up to 100 feet (thirty metres) above ground level and speeds of 50 mph (80 km/h). On 30 April, he achieved the world record of over 1.4 miles (2.2 km) for the longest distance with a flying board.
Whilst the French army and rescue services have expressed interest in the Flyboard Air, especially in situations involving access into difficult areas, the machine is not yet available on the market. Before that happens, its present short flight duration of ten minutes will need to be increased, and in particular, provision of additional pilot protection, since, in the event of a fall, a simple helmet and kneepads would not suffice.