Canadian inventor shows off Back to the Future style hoverboard
Back to the Future’s hover skateboards – very much part of the scenery when Marty McFly time travelled to 21 October 2015 – aren’t yet widely available in the shops. But could we be close to seeing the commercial production of hoverboards like the one in the amazing video below? The video also suggests this would work best over water, where space and a safe landing are more likely.
Canadian inventor Catalin Alexandru Duru has been working on a workable hoverboard for many years and is attracting attention with his latest version. It’s essentially a small helicopter, and you stand on top of the rotors instead of sitting underneath them.
Earlier this year the Montreal-based inventor broke the world record for the longest hoverboard flight. He flew up to five metres above a lake for a distance of 275.9 metres aboard his homemade, propeller-powered hoverboard in a trip that lasted more than 1½ minutes. Not quite long enough for a full-scale car chase, but certainly indicative of what could become a thrilling new hobby for adrenaline junkies.
Duru has set up a company, Omni Hoverboards, and is believed to be working feverishly on a secret, next-generation version of the device.
For all hoverboards, you need some upward force to push against the gravitational force. For the Omni hoverboard, this upward force is from the air. The props push air downward resulting in an upward force on the rotors.
Just like a helicopter, you can move both up and down as well as side to side, and as we can see here the Onni hoverboard can fly over water or land. However the Omni hoverboard has a very limited flight time, being reliant on a battery to fly. Because batteries are so heavy they can't be too big, so can only power the propellers for a couple of minutes of flight time.
There would also be serious concerns about using a hoverboard like this in a public space. As we saw in Back to the Future II, they’re effective in a Hollywood car chase, but probably highly dangerous in real life!
To find our more visit Omni Hoverboards
Article: Alison Clements
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