It’s no Back to the Future hoverboard, but USC student’s skateboard flies
Engineer upcycles carbon fiber from spacecraft for a smooth ride
By now we were supposed to be cruising around on hoverboards. Just ask Marty McFly from Back to the Future. But a USC student is trying to bring America the next best thing: a spacecraft-inspired skateboard.
Ryan Olliges, a USC Viterbi School of Engineering student in aerospace and mechanical engineering, co-founded 121c Boards as a way to make a better, lighter and more maneuverable skateboard with a considerable upside: The skateboards are made from leftover carbon fiber discarded from rockets and aircraft manufacturing. At USC, Olliges has been a member of the USC Rocket Propulsion Laboratory team.
“I was blown away by the performance of carbon fiber in our rockets, and I wanted to apply the same technology to skateboarding,” Olliges said. Olliges partnered with Greg Autry, assistant professor of clinical entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business, to launch the company.
121c Boards, which is being funded through Kickstarter, recently began the first production run on its first skateboard, the Aileron. (The promo code “trojanaileron” will get students a 20 percent discount online at 121cboards.com.) Check it out on this video.
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