"Zapata has worked with the US and French militaries, with the French investing $1.4 million to pay for tests of the board. French special forces are interested in the flying board for several uses, including as a possible assault device, said Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly, according to CNN affiliate BFMTV."
"Franky Zapata: Yes, the thing I have on my back is like a Camelbak but it's full of kerosene. Jet A1.
What kind of controls are on the remote?
That's just throttle for the four turboengines on the board. Two more are on the sides for stabilization.
Can you tell me more about how it works? How many engines are in there?
We have four engines inside, and the power is 250 horsepower each. It's about 1,000 horsepower total.
How do you keep it stabilized? Is there something helping you other than you just shifting your weight?
It's a logic system inside the board that helps stabilize the machine. It's extremely hard to stabilize, so yes it's not only my balance. For example, we use like the same kind of electronics like you use on a drone to stabilize. The problem is to create the algorithms, the right algorithms, to combine the intelligence in the board and in your brain. So we spent about four months to make that work.
What are those algorithms controlling to help stabilize, is it just thrust level?
No. We adjust the top speed of the small turbines on the side, and also the inclination of the turboreactors itself. So it's like we have six systems working together plus my brain and my legs.
So it will actually change the angle of those turbines?
Yes, it changes the angle of the turbines, it changes the angle of the thrust nozzle, we adjust also the power for each engine, and also we adjust the thrust of the side turbines, the small ones.
Would anybody be able to ride this without any Flyboard experience?
Oh, no. It's impossible to ride it before you have a minimum of 50 or 100 hours in the original Flyboard with water. Also, if you want to try it, you must have seven lives, like the cat. [Laughs]
more of the interview