Engineering Newswire: Flyboard Air Soars Untethered. Now Is It Real?

This Engineering Newswire looks at flying up to 10,000 feet on the latest hoverboard, obliterating bullets with metal foam and making drugs in a portable factory.

Flyboard Can Zoom Up to 10,000 Feet

Some of you may have heard of Franky Zapata’s water jet Flyboards, which have become a popular experience for many vacationers. It’s essentially a device that thrusts a person up to 29.5-ft. in the air via a hose connected to the motor of a jet ski.

Well, now the French jet ski champion has just unveiled an even crazier invention. Last weekend, he released the first video that shows his new Flyboard Air in action. Instead of using a water jet, the Air appears to have a jet turbine engine, allowing users to zoom untethered through the sky to a max height of supposedly 10,000-ft. for up to 10 minutes.

Metal Foam Obliterates Bullets

Composite metal foams (CMFs) are tough enough to turn an armor-piercing bullet into dust on impact, according to a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State.

Building upon previous work, Afsaneh Rabiei built high-strength armor, comprised of boron carbide ceramics as the strike face, CMF as the bullet kinetic energy absorber layer, and Kevlar panels as backplates.  Now, NC State just released a video of a bullet obliterating on impact with composite armor made out of her composite metal foams.

Portable Drug Factory

MIT researchers have developed a compact, portable pharmaceutical manufacturing system that can be reconfigured to produce a variety of drugs on demand.

The fridge-sized factory even churns out drugs at a faster pace than mega factories. It’s actually easier to generate and precisely control the high-pressures or extreme temperatures needed to synthesize some drugs when the batches are smaller.

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