I don’t really pretend to know anything substantial about military hardware or tactics. In fact, I’m strongly antiwar, and consider it all a bit disturbing. But! Even I am unable to resist the occasional indulgence in some cool army shit. Like, if the Pentagon comes out and says, “Hey, we’ve invented a laser cannon which we can mount to a jumbo jet,” I’m going to be at least a little bit intrigued. It’s human nature.
All that aside, I completely do not understand what the go is here with the ‘flyboard’, which the French military showed off during the annual Bastille Day parade. It appears to be an aerial hoverboard ridden by a guy with a gun. A ten-year-old boy’s dream, essentially.
Here’s a ridiculous video of French President Emmanuel Macron nodding and smiling while former jetskiing champion and military reservist Franky Zapata whizzes around on it.
Fier de notre armée, moderne et innovante. pic.twitter.com/DQvIfPolQf
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) July 14, 2019
Zapata designed the flyboard in conjunction with the French military. Apparently, it can attain speeds of up to 190km/h and can run for 10 minutes.
Florence Parly, the French armed forces minister, says the flyboard could have numerous uses, including “as a flying logistical platform or, indeed, as an assault platform.”
An assault platform? I’m sorry but you are going to be shot out of the sky instantly if you fly by the enemy on one of those. I have absolutely no idea what tactical value you could find in a hoverboard whizzing over an active combat zone
Because this is the internet, everyone made exactly the same joke:
marie-jean et moi allons avoir un hell d'un temps pic.twitter.com/fdWyKPJEle
— Loudsommar (@Cam_Oflage) July 14, 2019
this dumbass invented the green goblin https://t.co/e6QUJGhfLd
— tannara, france’s real president (@tyelland) July 14, 2019
— Dylan P. White (@dylanpwhite) July 14, 2019
Here’s another video of Zapata manning the flyboard in a less military context (read: he doesn’t have a gun) if you’re so inclined. Looks sketchy!Image: Getty Images