[politics] So Hoverboard Soldiers are a thing now?

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France reveals terrifying armed soldier who flies above Paris on hoverboard

France gave one hell of a spectacle for Bastille Day as a 'flying soldier' soared above the streets of Paris. The strange sight of a man circling high above the pomp and pageantry on a 'flyboard' was cheered on by President Macron, but suitably mocked by people online. It was likened to a badly thought-out audition for the Marvel universe, with some people questioning whether the French military had recruited Iron Man or Spiderman's nemesis the Green Goblin. To finish off this nightmarish vision of the future, the flying warrior was actually carrying a rifle as he zoomed about the Champs-?lys?es. This new bit of technology is made by Zapata, who make other fun and expensive things that float unnaturally above the ground.

image

The flyboard is like a jetpack and is powered by gas turbines. According to Zapata, it can fly up to an altitude of 3,000 metres and reach 90mph. The man on board the flyboard was actually Franky Zapata, the CEO of Zapata, who admits his invention is very similar to the hoverboard used by Marty McFly in the Back to the Future films. Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, one of the key events of the French Revolution. The day has become a national holiday in France. This year some 4,300 soldiers, around 200 vehicles and over 100 aircraft, some from other European countries, took part in the parade.

https://metro.co.uk/2019/07/14/france-reveals-terrifying-armed-soldier-flies-paris-hoverboard-10294258/

So what's next Hoverboard Police? When will the US be getting these? I guess we already have Biff as president might as well get our hoverboards by now. With the mind communication helmet and their hoverboards modern warfare will start to become strange...

https://phys.org/news/2008-09-army-invests-thought-helmet-technology.html

I can't wait until they start doing military testing on them and discover that soldiers routinely fall off of them 500 feet above the ground and go splat.

Think about how many segway injuries there were, now imagine a segway going 90 miles an hour 3000 feet in the air and getting hit by a severe crosswind.

On one hand- Safety hazards all around.

On the other hand, flying on a hoverboard that can go 90mph is a literal dream come true.

With what that guy is wearing, you could tell me that image is from an episode of Doctor Who and i'd completely believe you.

Nuuu:
On one hand- Safety hazards all around.

On the other hand, flying on a hoverboard that can go 90mph is a literal dream come true.

With what that guy is wearing, you could tell me that image is from an episode of Doctor Who and i'd completely believe you.

We're already in the midst of developing traffic management systems for drones (although I dunno if we're gonna get something usable out of the current iteration...). Civilian hoverboard use would probably require a license for piloting them and automated flightpaths passed through the same system. By the time they're viable for civilian use, hopefully our mini-air infrastructure will be set up to integrate them.

You know what soldiers LOVE having in a combat zone?

Cover.

I imagine it is anything but quiet and has a severely limited fuel capacity. Requires specific training, expensive equipment, for an item that can transport ONE soldier quickly across the battlefield. We already have devices that can do that, they're called helicopters, and they can transport far more than one soldier and typically can do so over a greater distance.

...Holy shit this is a real thing. And us Americans don't even have real hover boards yet!

Now only if they could do something about that vulnerability issue...

Abomination:
You know what soldiers LOVE having in a combat zone?

Cover.

I imagine it is anything but quiet and has a severely limited fuel capacity. Requires specific training, expensive equipment, for an item that can transport ONE soldier quickly across the battlefield. We already have devices that can do that, they're called helicopters, and they can transport far more than one soldier and typically can do so over a greater distance.

Also on what soldiers like:, the element of suprise and not alerting your enemy to your presence.

Now, will the fall under the Army's preview or Air Force?

Dirty Hipsters:
soldiers routinely fall off of them 500 feet above the ground and go splat.

♫ Glory Glory What a heck of a way to die ♫
♫ Glory Glory What a heck of a way to die ♫
♫ Glory Glory What a heck of a way to die ♫
♫ And, he ain't gonna jump no more ♫

Seems like its not very effective.

I thought this was a thing we were already aware of. This guy was making the rounds with his "hoverboard" years ago. I remember he was arrested for flying the thing over a river a few years back.

Also, as far as I know, he has nothing to do with the French armed forces in any way. He's just a dude who made a thing and I imagine they thought it would be neat for him to do a flyover of sorts with it. The odds of France actually investing in this useless tech for it's military are slim to none. If I can recall, tech like this was toyed around with during the Cold War and was ditched for rather obvious reasons.

Giving him a rifle and making him seem like some "super soldier" was really dumb though. They could have skipped on giving the guy a gun.

Also I'd like to point out that any kind of "future" tech that militaries invest in or say they'll be using, are typically a load of shit. Most of the time, even if it gets fully made, they end up not adopting the stuff anyway. Or if they do, it's mostly for bluster and it never gets used. In some cases, like the F-35, it's basically just corporate welfare. Or, in the case of the mind-link helmets, it's a tiny investment they don't see happening anyway. But the idea of them having it is a neat headline and it's something for them to brag about.

Abomination:
You know what soldiers LOVE having in a combat zone?

Cover.

I imagine it is anything but quiet and has a severely limited fuel capacity. Requires specific training, expensive equipment, for an item that can transport ONE soldier quickly across the battlefield. We already have devices that can do that, they're called helicopters, and they can transport far more than one soldier and typically can do so over a greater distance.

Save for the passenger allowance, I'll bet there were loads of officers out there that had the exact same complaints when helicopters were first introduced. And when submarines were first proposed. And military aircraft in general. And the car.

Good thing we all listened to those tunnel visioned complaints, hey?

Squilookle:

Abomination:
You know what soldiers LOVE having in a combat zone?

Cover.

I imagine it is anything but quiet and has a severely limited fuel capacity. Requires specific training, expensive equipment, for an item that can transport ONE soldier quickly across the battlefield. We already have devices that can do that, they're called helicopters, and they can transport far more than one soldier and typically can do so over a greater distance.

Save for the passenger allowance, I'll bet there were loads of officers out there that had the exact same complaints when helicopters were first introduced. And when submarines were first proposed. And military aircraft in general. And the car.

Good thing we all listened to those tunnel visioned complaints, hey?

I am very happy to say this is not plug and play. Either we need to find an appropriate use for it, or it's design changes or the army changes.

Until such things occur, I'm going to criticize it. But I am capable of changing my mind and if you want to judge me on my own old thinking, that up to you

Also, side note, wouldn't it be great if politicians could change their mind instead of following ideology they made up 50 years ago in their 20s. Unfortunately, changing your mind is a sin in political circles

Sacre bleu, le Bouffon Vert a pris l'assaut avec son nouveau fusil aux balles potirons!

Abomination:
You know what soldiers LOVE having in a combat zone?

Cover.

Yeah, but that's kind of compensated for by the +1 bonus to attack rolls they'd get from elevation and the complete immunity from all non-flying melee attackers. /s

Who knew He-Man would predict the future?

So either there's currently a hero undergoing their tragic, yet light-hearted European origin story, destined to battle this CEO who will inevitably fall under their own hubris. Or we're all screwed. I've watched enough comic book movies to know this at least.
(ok, just the one movie)((why isn't he painted green??))

Lil devils x:
So what's next Hoverboard Police? When will the US be getting these? I guess we already have Biff as president might as well get our hoverboards by now. With the mind communication helmet and their hoverboards modern warfare will start to become strange...

Hoverboard soldiers seem to me to be - for the most part - a totally terrible idea.

One of the key elements of gun warfare is taking cover. Where are they getting any of that in the sky on their hoverboards? The best hope is to be a moving target, but then they can't effectively aim either. Also, flak has been a thing for a long time. And if a hoverboard soldier is hit, god help them getting medical attention (presumably they'll have a tether and the hoverboard will hover without them if they fall off). Really, if you want some sort of floaty weapon platform, use a drone.

Police and for general observation it might be more useful, because of the vastly reduced chance anyone's going to be firing back.

Ah yes, because we all know that the Bastille was stormed by people on hoverboards. 0_0

Hawki:
Ah yes, because we all know that the Bastille was stormed by people on hoverboards. 0_0

Indeed, just remember the French national motto: Liberte, Egalite, Planche Volante.

It does seem like it would have a very niche use at best for the military. It may have some use in urban warfare where conditions may be too confined for a helicopter or to quickly move from ground to roof. They probably would want a version that you operated while prone rather than standing up as that would be much more stable, would minimize your profile, and could work with an unconscious rider if automated or piloted remotely to evacuate the wounded as a sort of flying stretcher.

Squilookle:

Abomination:
You know what soldiers LOVE having in a combat zone?

Cover.

I imagine it is anything but quiet and has a severely limited fuel capacity. Requires specific training, expensive equipment, for an item that can transport ONE soldier quickly across the battlefield. We already have devices that can do that, they're called helicopters, and they can transport far more than one soldier and typically can do so over a greater distance.

Save for the passenger allowance, I'll bet there were loads of officers out there that had the exact same complaints when helicopters were first introduced. And when submarines were first proposed. And military aircraft in general. And the car.

Good thing we all listened to those tunnel visioned complaints, hey?

Because some people were wrong with their criticism in the past does not mean all criticism is wrong. There are far more failed introductions into the military than successful ones.

Now we wait until Trump decides he needs to have one of those next 4th of July.

Anyway, I think this was more about the show rather than actual (potential) future military usefulness.

Agema:

Lil devils x:
So what's next Hoverboard Police? When will the US be getting these? I guess we already have Biff as president might as well get our hoverboards by now. With the mind communication helmet and their hoverboards modern warfare will start to become strange...

Hoverboard soldiers seem to me to be - for the most part - a totally terrible idea.

One of the key elements of gun warfare is taking cover. Where are they getting any of that in the sky on their hoverboards? The best hope is to be a moving target, but then they can't effectively aim either. Also, flak has been a thing for a long time. And if a hoverboard soldier is hit, god help them getting medical attention (presumably they'll have a tether and the hoverboard will hover without them if they fall off). Really, if you want some sort of floaty weapon platform, use a drone.

Police and for general observation it might be more useful, because of the vastly reduced chance anyone's going to be firing back.

Though when I think about it, this might actually be useful to traffic cops so they don't get run over directing traffic, or for monitoring crowds to be able to get help to someone in a crowded area faster. Though that may also be negated by people likely not being able to be standing under the jets on this thing without being burnt. It may have more usefulness in the circus than actual implementation due to the likely hazards associated. I am not sure how this works.. they said it is like a jet pack and uses gas, so I would think it would get hot.

Lil devils x:
Though when I think about it, this might actually be useful to traffic cops so they don't get run over directing traffic, or for monitoring crowds to be able to get help to someone in a crowded area faster. Though that may also be negated by people likely not being able to be standing under the jets on this thing without being burnt. It may have more usefulness in the circus than actual implementation due to the likely hazards associated. I am not sure how this works.. they said it is like a jet pack and uses gas, so I would think it would get hot.

I agree. I think any job that requires mobility and observation makes it pretty handy. Sort of like a (presumably) low cost helicopter.

Agema:
I agree. I think any job that requires mobility and observation makes it pretty handy. Sort of like a (presumably) low cost helicopter.

I suppose, so long as whatever you'd be doing doesn't take long and you're somewhere you can be very loud.
6-10 minute flight time on a full fuel load and 110-115 dB is going to limit your applications.

Abomination:
You know what soldiers LOVE having in a combat zone?

Cover.

I imagine it is anything but quiet and has a severely limited fuel capacity. Requires specific training, expensive equipment, for an item that can transport ONE soldier quickly across the battlefield. We already have devices that can do that, they're called helicopters, and they can transport far more than one soldier and typically can do so over a greater distance.

Probably not intended for soldiers in combat zone.

Chimpzy:

Agema:
I agree. I think any job that requires mobility and observation makes it pretty handy. Sort of like a (presumably) low cost helicopter.

I suppose, so long as whatever you'd be doing doesn't take long and you're somewhere you can be very loud.
6-10 minute flight time on a full fuel load and 110-115 dB is going to limit your applications.

Yes, but it is also much easier to transport than a helicopter. You could likely carry this around in the trunk of a car and use it to get to areas where people or animals are trapped that you cannot get vehicles or help to quickly otherwise.

When they had a 150 acre fire here a few years ago, they could not even get firefighters to an area to save some of the animals trapped down near a creek and they were trying everything from 4 wheelers and ropes to try to get to them in time but it was extremely difficult to get people down to their location to be able to secure the animals to pull them out due to location with brush and debris in between them interfering withe ropes. Something like this could be useful to do such as long as there is a safe place to deboard and it is not too difficult getting off and back on the thing.

Lil devils x:

Chimpzy:
snip

Yes, but it is also much easier to transport than a helicopter. You could likely carry this around in the trunk of a car and use it to get to areas where people or animals are trapped that you cannot get vehicles or help to quickly otherwise.

When they had a 150 acre fire here a few years ago, they could not even get firefighters to an area to save some of the animals trapped down near a creek and they were trying everything from 4 wheelers and ropes to try to get to them in time but it was extremely difficult to get people down to their location to be able to secure the animals to pull them out due to location with brush and debris in between them interfering withe ropes. Something like this could be useful to do such as long as there is a safe place to deboard and it is not too difficult getting off and back on the thing.

That could work, I suppose. I'd say the flight time would need to go up to something like 30 minutes first to make them more practical. Also, lets you put the supply of jet fuel you'd need bring to run them for longer than 10 minutes further away from the danger zone while still getting enough operational time to get shit done.

Abomination:

Squilookle:

Abomination:
You know what soldiers LOVE having in a combat zone?

Cover.

I imagine it is anything but quiet and has a severely limited fuel capacity. Requires specific training, expensive equipment, for an item that can transport ONE soldier quickly across the battlefield. We already have devices that can do that, they're called helicopters, and they can transport far more than one soldier and typically can do so over a greater distance.

Save for the passenger allowance, I'll bet there were loads of officers out there that had the exact same complaints when helicopters were first introduced. And when submarines were first proposed. And military aircraft in general. And the car.

Good thing we all listened to those tunnel visioned complaints, hey?

Because some people were wrong with their criticism in the past does not mean all criticism is wrong. There are far more failed introductions into the military than successful ones.

To extend on this, one thing I dislike about science is how people romanticise it so much. (It's not science fault, it's just the way we do thing.) There were so many failed ideas, and when we learn about science, we only learn the ones that succeeded. Einstein was correct on a bunch of things but incorrect on more. He adapted and changed to new information.

Science usually welcomes criticism because that how you become more accurate.

I may not see military applications for this but I do see a new extreme sport category in the making.

Hawki:
Ah yes, because we all know that the Bastille was stormed by people on hoverboards. 0_0

I wonder if the Americans used them to capture all those airports in the war of 1812.

Hawki:
Ah yes, because we all know that the Bastille was stormed by people on hoverboards. 0_0

Because someone had to.
image
AHHHHHHHH!!!!

Lil devils x:
Because someone had to.

image

So how long until he's wearing a Halloween mask and fighting Spider-Man?

Wait, shit, hang on, does this mean the Marvel films might be able to give us Tom Holland fighting a Green Goblin who is realised with no CGI? An actual costume riding an actual glider making things actually explode...

evilthecat:

Lil devils x:
Because someone had to.

image

That one is even better! I love it! <3

Abomination:
You know what soldiers LOVE having in a combat zone?

Cover.

People can't see you surrender if you're in defilade.

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