Having successfully crossed the English Channel on his Flyboard Air hoverboard, French inventor Franky Zapata is now focusing his attention on his next project—a flying car that he says will debut by the end of the year.
“I have my flying car to finish, it has to come out before the end of the year, so we'll come home, take a little vacation, and then, with the whole team, get back on track,” he told France’s BFMTV in a Thursday interview that was discovered by Digital Trends.
According to Zapata, the flying car’s chassis is already complete, with paint and bodywork scheduled for the coming days. The inventor is also waiting on flight authorization from the DGAC (France’s version of the FAA), but Zapata is confident he’ll receive approval “in the following days.”
Zapata says his company, Rove, has already completed some flight testing of the car, and it has flown above an unspecified racetrack in the south of France. However, those tests were conducted with a version of the car with fewer jet engines than will be used on the final product.
"The base of the flying car has already flown but in version four (jet) engines,” he said. “The version with ten engines will fly in the days to follow.”
Zapata’s Flyboard Air hoverboard reached a maximum speed of 106 mph over the English Channel, and the flying car is set to more than double that. The inventor says the flying car will be capable of reaching airborne speeds up to 250 mph and will have enough fuel onboard to cover up to 70 miles.
Zapata didn’t reveal if he has plans to sell his flying car to the general public or how many passengers it can carry. If he does sell it, it sounds like it will be a vehicle for personal enjoyment rather than another in the string of flying taxis being developed by several companies, including Uber.