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Ground-Effect Trains Floats on Air

by Shane McGlaun

I think the coolest method of transportation in Asia and parts of Europe are the crazy fast bullet trains that blaze around those countries. Researchers in Japan are working on a new method of transportation that may one day replace those trains and go even faster.

ground_effect_train_prototype

The researchers have constructed a robotic machine that is a ground-effect train. The vehicle floats on a cushion of air, and the prototype is set for a demonstration soon to see how things work out for the design. The vehicle is sort of like a cross between a maglev train and a low flying aircraft.

ground_effect_train_prototype_2

When I say low, I mean really low, too. It will float only a few inches over the ground, but that is enough to eliminate friction allowing the vehicle to be more efficient and faster.

YouTube Preview Image

The prototype unmanned vehicle will go around a “U” shaped track at up to 125 mph. One day trains might be replaced with vehicles using propellers and wings only meant to fly a few inches off the ground.

[via ieee Spectrum via PopSci]





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