Thank physics for our lack of futuristic flying machines

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Thank Physics for Our Lack of Futuristic Flying Machines


According to Doc Brown's calendar, it's officially The Future. So where's our flying everything?

Some of our slow progress is thanks to a regulatory vacuum, but most of it is thanks to plain old physics.

Lexus tested out an early version of the hoverboard this month, which uses nitrogen-cooled superconducting magnets to float, and it can support a person.

The thing about superconducting magnets is they have to stay chilled down to work. And they have to stay above the magnetic track they push off of. That's how Lexus did it, too.

And this board requires a copper-lined hover surface to generate the required magnetic fields.

So true hoverboards are out until we figure out how to free them from their magnetic bases. Sorry, Marty McFly.

Take a look at other tech innovations in this infographic:



Jetpacks are a tall order, too, in that you have to point enough energy to lift a human down at the ground, without setting your legs on fire.

There are fixed-wing jet backpacks, but that's technically using a wing surface to generate lift rather than a true jetpack.

The Martin Jetpack is technically a "ducted-fanpack," but that doesn't roll off the tongue quite the same way.

Pumped-water rocket packs actually use jets of something pointed straight down, but they're altitude-limited.

See more of the jetpack in this video:

World's First Public Jetpack to Take Off


Okay, so what about our flying cars?

Concepts are everywhere: Terrafugia started showing off this crazy commuter just last month.

And even DARPA has shown interest in something that might fly as easily as it drives.

But infrastructure and regulation haven't caught up yet, mostly because the government has never had to come up with rules for something that's simultaneously a car and a plane.

Maybe "Back To The Future" was just too far ahead of its time. We'll set the clock for another 26 years.

Take a peek at the hoverboard videos from Lexus below:

5 PHOTOS
Lexus Hoverboard Videos
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Thank physics for our lack of futuristic flying machines
The wait is over. As our legendary Takumi craftsmen say “the difficult takes time; the impossible just takes a little longer”. The Lexus Hoverboard represents true innovation and imagination, together pushing the boundaries of technology even further. Learn more at: http://www.lexus-int.com/amazinginmotion/slide/ Subscribe to Lexus International: http://bit.ly/19l9PgB Visit our website: http://www.lexus-int.com/ Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LexusInternational Follow us on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/LexusInt/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LexusInt Follow us on Tumblr: http://departurelane.tumblr.com YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/LexusGlobal
Pro skater and hoverboarder Ross McGouran compares the magnetic levitation and frictionless movement of the Lexus Hoverboard to ‘floating on air.’ Learn more at: http://www.amazinginmotion.com The Lexus hoverboard represents true engineering innovation and over the coming weeks, we’ll be bringing you updates on the progress of this extraordinary project. Follow the conversation using #LexusHover Learn more at: http://www.lexus-int.com/ Subscribe to Lexus International: http://bit.ly/19l9PgB Visit our website: http://www.lexus-int.com/ Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LexusInternational Follow us on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/LexusInt/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LexusInt Follow us on Tumblr: http://departurelane.tumblr.com YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/LexusGlobal
The Lexus Hoverboard is almost here… When technology, design and imagination come together amazing things can be achieved. The Lexus Hoverboard represents true engineering innovation and can be seen in action soon. Follow the conversation using #LexusHover Learn more at: http://www.lexus-int.com/amazinginmotion/slide Subscribe to Lexus International: http://bit.ly/19l9PgB Visit our website: http://www.lexus-int.com/ Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LexusInternational Follow us on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/LexusInt/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LexusInt Follow us on Tumblr: http://departurelane.tumblr.com YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/LexusGlobal
When technology, design and imagination come together, amazing things can be achieved. SLIDE is the fourth project in the ‘Amazing in Motion’ series and this time, we’ve challenged ourselves more than ever, in order to create something unique. Learn more at: http://www.lexus-int.com/amazinginmotion/slide/ The Lexus hoverboard represents true engineering innovation and over the coming weeks, we’ll be bringing you regular updates on the progress of this extraordinary project. Follow the conversation using #LexusHover Subscribe to Lexus International: http://bit.ly/19l9PgB Visit our website: http://www.lexus-int.com/ Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LexusInternational Follow us on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/LexusInt/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LexusInt Follow us on Tumblr: http://departurelane.tumblr.com YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/LexusGlobal
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