It’s the year 2015, and the predictions of Back to the Future Part II are being put to the test. An aerospace firm called Arca Space Corporation has started promoting the ArcaBoard.
The ArcaBoard isn’t as sexy as the tiny Mattel-branded hoverboard from the classic movie, but that’s the price you pay for having it actually fly using today’s technology. It looks a bit like a floating bar of soap in the video demo, but the creators still talk awkwardly about how carefully it was designed. Certainly the engineering that went into it is impressive. About 90% of the internal space is occupied by 36 electric ducted fans (EDF) and lithium-polymer batteries. There’s only so much you can do with the outside when you have to cram 272 horsepower inside.
When it’s powered up, the ArcaBoard will lift you 20-30 centimeters off the ground and let you surf around. With all those fans running, the contraption is pretty loud — 92dBm according to Arca. That’s about the same as a lawnmower. The maximum speed is roughly 12 miles per hour (20 kph), but you’ll need to be steady on your feet to get there.
Ignoring for a moment the substantial overselling of the demo video, the ArcaBoard looks like the most legitimate contender for the title of a true hoverboard. However, the complexity of flight becomes apparent when you look at the details. The ArcaBoard will only fly for six minutes at a time, and plugging it into a standard power source will recharge the batteries in six hours. That’s not exactly convenient.
Arca Space Corporation is offering pre-orders of the hoverboard right now with an expected shipping date of April 15th, 2016.
For more information go to: http://www.arcaspace.com/en/arcaboard.htm