Aero-train

“Aero-train” is a levitation transport system alternative to the famous “Maglev” (Magnetic levitation). The purpose of both systems is to keep the train some centimeters above the ground, “maglev” trains use the power of electromagnetism most of the times using superconducting magnets, in the case of “aero-train” technology it uses an air cushion using the power of the “ground effect” (Something similar to hovercrafts).

In France they thought it was a good idea 40 years ago and started to create “aero-trains”. The project worked from 1965 until 1977, they even managed to beat the some world speed records, but at the end they decided to stop all the research because changing all railways for “aero-trains” was too expensive. Special rail tracks are needed for “aero-trains”.

Aero-train
This is one of the french Aero-trains.

Aero-train
More French aero-train pictures .

Research stop during many decades until Tohoku University started a project called“0 emission Aero-train”. It seems that Aero-trains if well designed do not require too much energy, so they thought that using some wind mills installed along the rail tracks would be enough. Tohoku University’s aero-train will start to work in 2020, and will be able to travel at 500km/h transporting 335 passengers at 10cm above the ground.



This is how the Japanese aero-train prototype looks like. Here there is one video where you can see it moving.

I’m really impressed with the projects that Japanese Universities are able to conduct, there is lots of money for students/teachers/researchers !

6 Comments
  • Mersi

    July 3, 2007 at 8:16 am

    I am a big maglev enthuasist after beeing able to go for a testdrive with the Transrapid. Unfortunately not enough other Germans like it so that this incredible and superior technique may die in a few years because of not having been used in its origin country. Thats really a pity!

  • boggajons

    September 10, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    The prototype looks amazing, a perfect hybrid of an aeroplane and a train. I love it! Does it have a pilot…or a driver? Hmmm.

  • Kalvindran

    July 29, 2009 at 8:16 am

    I really hope that my country,Malaysia should really have one of this.It is good because it can save a lot of time & much more cheaper rather that using flight,with the speed of 500 km/p,i can reach ever destination in just a blink of an eye…I’m vey serious

  • Ste

    November 2, 2009 at 8:50 am

    You don’t need a pilots license as it doesn’t fly high enough to require one so I guess you’re a driver 😉

  • Jeffrey

    October 20, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    The French model looks infinitely more practical than the Japanese. I’m wondering if there really is all that much need for this kind of train?

    The maglev train is sort of like those Rube Goldberg devises that extract hydrogen from water – takes more energy for the extraction than for the potential energy from the hydrogen captured.

    I can understand that anything reducing drag saves energy. But none of the maglev trains now in use have achieved this – they consume more energy to maintain the levitation than saved by eliminating physical friction.

  • RAVI GONDALIA

    February 4, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    CAN SOME ONE GIVE ME THE DIMENSIONS OF THE MODLE