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Look! Up in the air! What the heck is that flying over Thompson Bay?

Well, this week in Lake Havasu City, a man appeared to be propelled overhead with a jet-powered hoverboard.
People were asking who is the “Rocket Man?” And it wasn’t Elton John.

Lake Havasu and its surrounding mountains, provide some breathtaking photo ops for Zapata Racings, Franky Zapata and his new Flyboard Air. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene
Franky Zapata comes in for a landing, after a morning test session. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene
Franky Zapata’s Flyboard Air has been in the works for almost four years, according to Franky Zapata’s Zapata Racing – the company behind the original water-powered Flyboard.

After the first prototype was completed, the build began on the present model. Four turbo reactor engines with 250 horsepower each power the Flyboard, with two separate turbines on the sides of the unit for stabilization, totaling a whopping 1,250 horsepower.

The throttle is controlled with a hand-held remote weighing 23 pounds, the Independent Propulsion Unit represents more than five years of hard work for a result exceeding all records, according to company information.

Lake Havasu Flyboard Franky
Franky Zapata flies on his Flyboard. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene
Autonomous flight up to 10,000 feet with a top speed of 93.2 mph with 10 minutes of autonomy has been recorded. A back pack with five gallons of jet fuel feeds the unit.

More information is available at https://flyboard.com/flyboardair.
Keep an eye out for Zapata flying around Thompson Bay, beginning at his base – Nicolas Rius’s Beach Shack https://www.facebook.com/beachshackrentals

Lake Havasu and its surrounding mountains, provide some breathtaking photo ops for Zapata Racings, Franky Zapata and his new Flyboard Air. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene
Ken Gallagher/RiverScene

Lake Havasu and its surrounding mountains, provide some breathtaking photo ops for Zapata Racings, Franky Zapata and his new Flyboard Air. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene
Ken Gallagher/RiverScene

Lake Havasu and its surrounding mountains, provide some breathtaking photo ops for Zapata Racings, Franky Zapata and his new Flyboard Air. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene
Ken Gallagher/RiverScene

Lake Havasu and its surrounding mountains, provide some breathtaking photo ops for Zapata Racings, Franky Zapata and his new Flyboard Air. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene
Ken Gallagher/RiverScene

Lake Havasu and its surrounding mountains, provide some breathtaking photo ops for Zapata Racings, Franky Zapata and his new Flyboard Air. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene
Franky flies back to base to refuel. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene

Lake Havasu and its surrounding mountains, provide some breathtaking photo ops for Zapata Racings, Franky Zapata and his new Flyboard Air. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene
Franky Zapata flies the flyboard around sunset. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene

Lake Havasu and its surrounding mountains, provide some breathtaking photo ops for Zapata Racings, Franky Zapata and his new Flyboard Air. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene
Franky Zapata flies at sunset. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene

Lake Havasu and its surrounding mountains, provide some breathtaking photo ops for Zapata Racings, Franky Zapata and his new Flyboard Air.
Franky Zapata, owner and inventor of the Flyboard Air, after some test passes around Thompson Bay. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene

Lake Havasu and its surrounding mountains, provide some breathtaking photo ops for Zapata Racings, Franky Zapata and his new Flyboard Air. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene
Base of operations for, Zapata Racings, Franky Zapata and his Flyboard Air, while in Lake Havasu. Ken Gallagher/RiverScene

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Becky Maxedon
Becky Maxedon has lived in Lake Havasu City for more than seven years, coming to the city as the managing editor of the Today’s News-Herald. She is currently the executive director of the Lake Havasu Museum of History. After a 30-plus year career in journalism, Becky has taken leave of the seven-day deadline-driven industry to give back to the Lake Havasu community that she has fallen in love with.

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