May 31, 2015 I Paul Seaburn

Star Wars Speeder Bike and McFly Hoverboard One Step Closer

The pace of technological advancement is painfully slow when it comes to developing cool vehicles and gadgets from the movies. That’s why this week was a good time for a little bit of celebrating over news that what could someday be a Star Wars hover bike was successfully tested and a hoverboard that Marty McFly might go Back to the Future to try set a record for the farthest hoverboard flight.

Catalin Alexandru Duru recently rode his hoverboard invention 905 feet (375 m) at a height of 16 feet (5 m) over Quebec’s Lake Ouareau, smashing the previous record of 50 meters. Yes, it looks more like a drone than a hoverboard, but Duru managed to stay upright, steer it with his feet and travel over a normal surface (water), unlike another recent hoverboard device, the Hendo Hoverboard, which requires a specially-designed metal surface. Duru says his can fly over land but he chose water because an emergency landing there would be somewhat softer.

The “Flike” is an all-electric personal flight device whose first prototype looks a little like the Star Wars Imperial speeder bike if you ignore the propellers. It’s built by Bay Zoltan, a state-owned applied research institute in Hungary, which describes it as “a coaxial, Y6-layout tricopter, which means that the lift is generated by six rotors, grouped in counter-rotating pairs of three axes, equally located around a circle.” The rider controls the rotation speed of the rotors while an onboard computer automatically controls stability, position and altitude.

In the test flight, the Flike hovered a few meters above the ground for 30 seconds. It looked pretty crude compared to an Imperial speeder bike, but the next prototype – assuming Bay Zoltan gets funding – is at least stylish.

Do either of these devices get me excited? Not yet, but I'm a little encouraged and trying to be patient. How about you?

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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