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Zapata Airscooter

Zapata Airscooter one passenger hybrid-electric VTOL multicopter aircraft


Marseille, France

Founded in 2008 by Franky Zapata and based in France, Zapata is an innovative company that has designs, manufactures and sells water sport and flying machines for leisure and adventure sports. These machines mostly use water jet nozzles or micro-turbo jet engines for their propulsion. The company has recently changed its focus on designing and manufacturing hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM). Some of Zapata's top goals for their VTOL aircraft will be a high priority on safety, will be easy to fly, are environmentally clean and are affordable. (All images: Zapata.)

Zapata's water and micro-turbo jet propelled platforms and aircraft include (this list might not be complete):

  • FlyBoard: Water propelled platform, person stands. Sales started in 2011 (per Zapata's website).
  • FlyBoard Pro: High performance water propelled platform, person stands. First revealed in 2018.
  • HoverBoard: Water propelled skateboard-type platform, person stands. Invented in 2014.
  • FlyBoard Air: World's smallest micro-turbojet-powered hoverboard, person stands. First revealed in April 2016.
  • JetPack: Water propelled powered flying seat, person sits. First revealed in 2019.
  • JetRacer: Micro-turbo jet engine propelled flying aircraft with open cockpit, person sits. First revealed in 2022.
  • AirScooter: Hybrid-electric VTOL one passenger multicopter aircraft, person sits. First revealed in June 2023.

AirScooter one passenger multicopter specifications
The AirScooter is a futuristic one passenger easy-to-fly hybrid-electric VTOL multicopter aircraft. The cockpit has a slightly elongated vertical egg-shaped look with long, high windows in the front and on both sides of the aircraft. There are 12 propellers located on top of the aircraft on eight booms with a rear high boom tail. The aircraft's cruise speed is 80 km/h (50 mph), has a maximum speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) and has a flight time of over two hours.

The empty weight of the aircraft is 112 kg (247 lb), has a maximum payload of 120 kg (264 lb) and has a maximum takeoff weight of over 232 kg (511 lb). The fuel tank holds 18.9 L (5 gallons). The aircraft has fixed tricycle strut landing gear. The AirScooter prototype was first shown to the public on June 14, 2023 at the 7th annual Viva Technology trade show held in Paris, France.

The AirScooter is an ultralight aircraft and expected to first be used for tourist flights
The company has stated the aircraft is compliant with the Federal Aviation Administration's (USA) Part 103 Regulations and can be flown without a pilot's license as an ultralight aircraft. Zapata has a patented computer assisted fly-by-wire controls which ensure the highest degree of safety while requiring minimal training. According to the company, the AirScooter carbon footprint is comparable to a passenger car. The company estimates the aircraft will first be used for tourist flights and for leisure travel.

Depiction of AirScooters flying through a canyon

Depiction of AirScooters flying through a canyon

Depiction of AirScooters flying over a resort

Depiction of AirScooters flying over a resort

Depiction of AirScooters flying over a forest

Depiction of AirScooters flying over a forest


  • Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL passenger multicopter aircraft
  • Piloting: 1 pilot
  • Cruise speed: 80 km/h (50 mph)
  • Maximum speed: 100 km/h (62 mph)
  • Flight time: 2 hours +
  • Empty weight: 112 kg (247 lb)
  • Maximum payload: 120 kg (264 lb)
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 232 kg (511 lb) +
  • Propellers: 12 propellers
  • Electric motors: 12 electric motors
  • Power source: Hybrid-electric power source
  • Fuel tank: 18.9 L (5 gallons)
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Dimensions: 340 X 340 X 256 (L X W X H, cm), 11 X 11 X 8 (feet)
  • Window: 3 long, high windows. 1 in the front of the cockpit and 1 on each side of the cockpit.
  • Tail: 1 horizontal stabilizer tail, very similar to a high boom tail
  • Landing gear: Fixed tricycle strut landing gear
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft.

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