While flying cars are probably still a long way off, you may be able to get a flying chair a whole lot sooner

These days, science and technology developments happen very rapidly. You turn around, and something you never heard of a month ago is now being widely adopted. And while things like new vaccines, medications, and computer chips are undoubtedly essential, let’s face it: they’re also kind of boring. No offense to the people doing important work, but their discoveries probably won’t be making it into a James Bond movie anytime soon. A new type of flying machine from French inventor Franky Zapata, however, looks like something right out of a spy thriller.

The mad genius

In the world of wacky yet awesome inventions, Zapata is pretty much a legend. In 2019, he unveiled the FlyBoard, which is like a jetpack powered by water. He followed that up with the FlyBoard Air, which ditches the water and is perhaps the closest thing we have right now to Marty McFly’s hoverboard. Zapata even successfully flew this thing across the English Channel from France to England. Next came the Zapata Ezfly, which has been described as a flying Segway. But now, he has come up with perhaps his loftiest (in more ways than one) invention. 

Behold, the flying chair

If you have ever been sitting outside in a lawn chair and thought, “wouldn’t it be great if I could fly around my neighborhood in this thing?” you get the general idea behind Zapata’s latest creation, dubbed JetRacer. It’s essentially a chair outfitted with 10 micro-turbo jet engines that can get you airborne to almost 10,000 feet. Plus, it can travel at a top speed of 155 mph and carry up to 440 pounds. 

Flying by the seat of your pants (almost literally)

If the thought of flying around in a chair thousands of feet in the air excites you, you’ll love a particular aspect of the JetRacer – a stunt feature that makes the aircraft do a 360-degree roll. Definitely not for the faint of heart! 

Not just all fun and games

While certainly a fun way to get around, Zapata envisions much bigger things for the JetRacer. Because it can carry so much weight, it could be used to transport cargo and equipment. Maybe in the not-so-distant future, you’ll get your Amazon packages this way. It can also be controlled remotely, which may make it an ideal vehicle for the military to use for reconnaissance and surveillance. Another nice feature is that JetRacer offers steering assistance if a pilot is operating it. Plus, even if two engines are lost, it will still work perfectly fine.

Ready to fly the friendly skies?

While JetRacer may seem like a machine you’d only see in a movie, Zapata anticipates this being accessible to everyone. He wants people to become pioneers of “the mobility of the future,” and he and his team have invited regular people to take the JetRacer out for test flights. If you would like to sign up for a chance to be selected, you can do it here. One hundred people will be chosen to participate in tests, which will be narrowed down to a final 25 who will be picked to actually fly JetRacer with Zapata.

Not available at a store near you – just yet

If JetRacer sounds like the perfect gift to give the person who has everything, it could very well be. However, you shouldn’t plan to have one under your Christmas tree – not this year, anyway. The flying chair is still in its development stage and probably won’t be available to the general public for quite some time.  

JetRacer looks like it could be a lot of fun, albeit in a kind of scary way. Would you take it for a flight if you had the chance? Let us know in the comments what you think about this flying chair and if you’d be willing to give it a go.

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