The flying train, is a slightly bizarre project on which, the very serious Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, has been working since 2009. Dubbed Clip-Air, the project actually consists of modular cabins, a kind of 30-metre long capsule (100 feet). They can both run on rails and be hooked up to a triple engined 60-metre wingspan flying wing (200 feet). A modular aircraft that could revolutionize the transport of tomorrow, or rather, the day after tomorrow.
By 2050, this strange concept could offer flexibility not only to its occupants, but also user airlines.
Claudio Leonardi, project manager Clip-Air: watch the interview in the video.
At a capacity of 150 passengers per capsule, and three capsules per aircraft, the "flying train" could carry as many passengers as three Boeing 737’s for example, but with half the engines; a non-negligible fuel economy, one solution to the problem of increasingly congested airport tarmacs.
Clip-Air could also carry freight and passengers during the same flight. Aerodynamic simulations and a scaled down demonstrator equipped with mini-jet engines should demonstrate the project’s feasibility. Meanwhile, Swiss universities will have at least one merit, that of rethinking solutions to the transport of tomorrow.