Chinese military contractor to test flying skateboard – media
A Chinese defense contractor has said that it plans to hold the first human test of its flying skateboard next year, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Wednesday. The gadget will have both military and civilian applications, according to the Beijing Institute of Power Machinery.
The compact vertical take-off device is able to lift a person or a cargo of up to 100kg to an altitude of up to three kilometers. Powered by four micro-turbojet engines, it allows a person to travel at a speed of up to 150km/h or stand and hover in one place for ten minutes, according to promotional material seen by the paper.
The developer insists that operating the device, code-named SF-FB-30, would be “as simple as a skateboard.” Though it has to be noted that even riding a regular skateboard requires some training.
Similar gadgets have been developed in the UK, France, and other countries in recent years, but a representative of the institute told the SCMP that their flying skateboard is “simpler and easier to use” than those from foreign competitors.
The SF-FB-30 can also fly autonomously and deliver cargo or move passengers to elevated places, the paper said.
The Beijing Institute of Power Machinery, which is a contractor for the Chinese space program and hypersonic weapons, told SCMP that the flying skateboard was developed by a team deeply rooted in the country’s defense industry.
The developer believes that, among other things, the Chinese navy could deploy the device to deliver troops from boats to hijacked tankers or ocean liners. Its civilian use could include areas like search and rescue operations, fire hazard evacuation and urban transportation, the paper added.