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It is impossible to convince the people of a novelty. One has to wait for a new generation to accept new idea. Ideas, like people, are some times born easily and some times with pain and their fate too may different that of wheeless trains as a practically has not been all roses. After long years of skepticism over the vale of high-speed wheeless trains attitude have changed considerably. The continuous growth in passenger traffic, especially in the densely populated regions of the developed countries, is putting an ever increasing demand on the transport system requiring speeds that are unattainable by ordinary railway technology.


Concept of Flying Trains:

Only recently many expert have smiled when talking about wheeless

trains. These trains but in spite of all problem these trains figure significantly in transportation forecasts for the near future. There is now considerable research and development experience of tracked air cushion vehicle (TACVs). They have been modeled, scaled up, and track tested over long track sections at remarkable speeds. A development scheme has now been devised for such trains, and a good deal of theoretical and experimental data has been acquired that is of considerable design interest.

It is quite obvious however, that the simple replacement of a wheel by an air cushion or magnetic suspension could not convert a vehicle into new form of transportation. To be viable it would have to be economical too, way had to be found to reduce the power requirements; two were adopted. 1) 2) To reduce the hover height, and To eliminate, practically or completely, the train loading on the

cushion we note in assign that the first goal could be achieved simply by laying down a specially prepared smooth surface, a guide way. At first, magnetic suspensions seemed to be a more attractive proposition than air cushions. Indeed, it could be established with the power source outside the vehicle, its operation being quite. It was uncertain however how much energy should be needed to produced a magnetic field that could support the train. Fantastic amounts of energy were estimated as being required to support a vehicle in a dynamic magnetic field, permanent magnets being useless for this application. Accordingly the idea of magnetic levitation was differed until and all the research work was focused on air cushion. Tracked air cushion vehicles (TACVs) have no wheels and decided that track should be monorail with smooth supporting surface. The design enabled the vehicle to be suspended with only a millimeter thick cushion, which is virtually an air film. Analysis indicated that this air lubrication system would need a reasonable power, so train seems feasible.


Progress In Flying Trains:

In 1966, France announced the construction of a 6.7 km test section for

TACVs. A four seater vehicle named Aerotrain-01 was run at 170 km/hr. The next modification, the Aerotrain-02 was developed and in 1968 attained a maximum speed of 378 km/hr. breaking the world speed record for rail vehicles in tests. The system involved a single vehicle on a trestled monorail. The air cushion was generated by fans driven by an individual power unit. Two turboprop engines were used for propulsion the train was capable at a design maximum speed of 430 km/hr. and carried 180 passengers. In addition to the intensity express Aerotrains, the same French Company developed commuter and cross-country Aerotrains. The supporting track was an inverted T in crossection. The air cushion was produced by two group of nozzles; one group (nozzles 1 and 4) shaped the cushion over horizontal surface of the monorail to support of train, the other (nozzles 2 and 3) created the cushion on the side flanges to provide for lateral stability. To attenuate the noise of traction, the cross-country version was driven by an AC linear electric motor or by two rollers pressed to vertical fin of the track. Britain followed France and also tested hover trains. The model of a TACV was tested in 1966 and called Hovercar. The tracktrain coupling concepts of British system differed from the French configuration, but similar to the design.

The Japanese State Railway Authority had been testing models of these trains since 1972. One model had only the support magnets (superconducting), while rollers and sledges were used for stability control and guidance. On the experimental 480-m long track section the 3.5 t model developed a speed of 60 km per hour. On a 7-km long section, the speed was 500 km per hour.



When used on a track, the air cushion supporting a train may be made considerably thinner than the cushion of unguided ACV. For a smooth surface track which can be easily produced with modern technology, the cushion need be only few millimeters thick. This air cushion acts as air film lubrication between the bearing surface of train, the chassis, and the surface of track. A thin lubrication layer can be produced with much lower power. The remaining power may be used for propulsion. If the wings are installed on the train they will provide even more lift as the train speed increases, an air cushion will be progressively relieved from loading, but lighter the train, lower the power requirements of the air cushion. This results in an energetically competitive system, which consequently is good from the operating economy viewpoint. At low speeds the wing performs inefficiently and most of power is expended on the air cushion. As the speed grows, so does the drag, but the efficiency of the wings increases, lifting the train, so the trainload on the air cushion decreases. The available power can then be directed to coping with the drag and rising the train speed. Thus, when the train speed rises up to a certain level as determined by the growing drag, the operating economy of the train in fact improves. At speeds exceeding 400 km/hr. the air cushion can be created without fans, simply by dynamic head of the on coming air ducted between the bearing surfaces of the

train chassis and the track, producing the so called ram wing or screen effect. This effect further improves the trains economy at high speeds. A wing air cushion train (TACV) will not be like ordinary trains in design and appearance. First, there can be no chain of carriages for at the speeds above 400 km/hr. the behaviour of couplings becomes unpredictable. From the outside the train will look more like the fuselage of a large passenger aircraft. This wing of the train will not like those of an airplane. The train moves close to the earths surface and thus the wing span need not be as large as that of an aircraft; the wings should be spread along the hull or above the train for better aerodynamic performance. The absence of wheel means that two rails can be replaced by a mono rail that provides a sufficient supporting surface. No wheels means dynamic loading on the rail therefore the monorail can be made of concrete rather than expensive metal. The absences of wheels also remove the speed limitations intrinsic in ordinary trains. The high speeds of TACVs will necessitate that they be isolated from other vehicles and pedestrians. This goal can be achieved by placing the monorail on a trestle a few meters above the ground. A trestled track is worth consideration not only on safety ground but from the view point of economy as well as, especially if the track is to be routed through impassable areas. In swampy areas, permafrost regions, and some other terrains, a viaduct is preferable even for highways.

Winged TACVs can be propelled by turbojet engines which have good performance capability over the range form 450 to 600 km/hr. Even better performances can be achieved using by-pass turbofan engines, which are equal in performance to turboprop engines and are much less noisy. A jet engine can create additional lift by directing the gas flow ejected from the nozzle to the trough. According to Bernoullis equation the pressure and velocity of fluid vary in inverse proportion; the higher the velocity the lower the pressure. Accordingly, a pressure difference will occur between the engine jet flowing through the trough and the surrounding air. This pressure drop will yield addition lift. This lift will be highest when the train is at a standstill, and will decline as the trains speed builds up because of decreasing speed difference between the jet flow and the oncoming air flow. In the train with air lubrication and aerodynamic unloading of the track, seating capacity of 180 passengers and initial mass of 40 t and air cushion height of 8 mm. The train is propelled by two turbo engines, and has wings to provide 80% unloading for the track. The train includes a passenger compartment, a sledge, wings, jet propulsion engines, a fan plant which receives air through an intake, and troughs to create additional lift using the jets from the thrust engine. The passenger compartment is in two layers. The cargo bay is at the bottom of train for stability.

The train has two modules, the hull section with wings and passenger compartment, and the motor section with propulsion engines and fan unit. This train configuration makes it technologically reasonable since the modules may be fabricated in a special factory, the respective units being produced in parallel. The track is mounted on a trestle elevated over the ground by supports. It has two smooth support surfaces which bear the train via the air cushion, and a service trough. The wheel can be deployed at the station, and when transferring the train from the main track onto service tracks for maintenance or repair. In motion they are withdrawn in to the hull in much the same way as on aircrafts under carriage. The smooth supporting surface of the track is inclined to facilitate run off and debris removal. The carriage has two supporting surfaces upper and lower. This train track-coupling configuration allows for the air cushion to be operated at the upper and lower surface of the track. The lower portion of air cushion is needed whenever the aerodynamic lift of the train, which is the function of train design and travel speed, exceeds the train weight. We recall that the situation when the total lift force exactly balances the trains weight is prone to be unstable and the vehicle become sensitive to any disturbances that may upset the balance. When the vehicle uses the lower surface of the track for support, the air to this portion of cushion may be supplied by forcing it from above over the track

perimeter through a narrow slit. This design is similar to that used in some upper cushion configurations, aid in air savings, and forces the air flowing through the slit to act as a curtain between the chassis and the track. A large portion air forming the upper cushion may be forced through the slit. Analysis of this train configuration indicates that at 600 km/hour the wigs allow the power to be cut considerably due to the presence of wings. The track may also be made to accommodate electric cables, communication lines, and other services. To keep the aerodynamic constant, the plane area of the wings must be changed in accordance with the operating speed. We should also not overlook that the lift due to the air cushion also varies with speed.



ACVs are classified according to the pressure in the air cushion. 1. Low pressure cushions, the air escape gap being of the order of tens of millimeters; 2. High pressure cushions, the air-escape gap being of the order one millimeter 3. Suction suspension (inverse air cushion) This classification is not satisfactory because neither cushion pressure nor air-escape gap is defining parameter for thee vehicles. The pressure in the cushion depends on the vehicles weight. This weight, however, is not constant in notion and depends on the aerodynamic lift generated by the wings, which grows the train speed.




A train with magnetic suspension, or levitation, is to solve the same problem as its air supports counter parts. Magnitude levitation involves the basic concepts of magnet. It is well known fact that similar poles repulse each other in this magnetic suspension trains, track is itself magnet and bottom of chassis of train also magnet. When train moves the two-magnet repulse each other and small air gap is form. To produce the levitation here simple method like electric motor is used. In linear synchronous motor, the stationary member, the stator, consists of a system of rectangular loops place along the whole track and connect to threephase supply. The movable member of the motor, the rotor, is a series of identical rectangular loops each energized with direct current of the some strength but so that the polarity of each loop is altered. Since the stator current in each loop is shifted in time and space one third of a period the overall result is magnetic field travailing along the track, when this field interacts with the rotor currents is produces a propulsive force that causes the rotor to move along the track.


A linear synchronous motor becomes quite efficient when the rotor winding is made using supercondcuting magnets which can produce enormous magnetic flux densities of low level of electric power expenditure. In this case on air gap of disseminators between the rotor and stator is sufficient for safe travel of high speeds. It will be noted that a large air gap between the moveable and fixed members of the motors enables only a small portion of the stator magnetic field to look with the rotor windings. That is why large currents are needed to create a sufficient traction force. However, large current produce large joule heat losses, ad so without superconductors this motor is infeasible. Therefore, any project for a train using this type of motor assumes that the rotor winding will be made of superconducting material.




The train may be braked in several different ways. 1. The propulsion direction may be reversed by redirecting the ejected flow in the jet engines, or altering position of the blades in the propellers of turboprop engines. 2. The aerodynamic drag may be increased by enlarging the cross-sectional area of the train; air planes do this by deploying braking flaps or drag parachutes. 3. Breaking shoes can be forced into the small gap between the train chassis and the track, for better performance, these shoes should have special coatings. The ultimate value of deceleration of conventional trains in emergency is 1.5 m/s2. At this deceleration a passenger can move across a saloon and a tea cup does not slip from a table as in ordinary operation, the braking deceleration should.





Advantages Of Winged TACV

As far as speed is concerned a winged TACV will excel every other mode of transportation save for aviation. However, despite this lower speed a passenger travailing some 300-3500 km will arrive earlier by train than by airplane. This is because an airline passenger has in spend extra time to reach the airport. Moreover, modern jet planes require airports farther from city centres, so the development of aviation will only increase the city to airport journey time.


The large airplanes need long runways and these have to constructed far away from cities where as ACV directly brings into populated area or centre of city.


Coupling the train to the track has safety consequences. The train is always tied to the track unlike the airplane, and it should be recalled that around 80% of all airplane accidents occur during take-off landing.


Collision between trains and other vehicles or pedestrians can be avoid by elevating the track above the ground level. The trestle also eliminates the problems of the crossing, essential in densely populated areas.


Winged air cushions trains are preferable to magnetically levitated trains for development new regions. They are capable for high speed at relatively low power requirement since in contrast to magnetically levitated


train their specific power requirement decrease as speed increase. This is because of growing aerodynamic lift generated by wings at higher speed and use of aerodynamic pressure of the on coming air in the air cushion which cut down the lift fan power. In addition, an air cushion tack is much cheaper than magnetic one, and it is simple to maintain in the sever conditions. The major advantages of the magnetically levitated train, their silence operations and absence of exhaust gases. 6. The design for the chassis track system, traction engines, fans train hull and wings guarantee the safe operation of the trains in the most severe weather condition. 7. There is noising problems for TACVs as it is for ordinary vehicles because it involves no directs contact with the tract surfaces. 8. Wings trains on thin air cushion (virtually on air lubrication layer) propelled or a trestle can be seen at their best. Owing to the screen effects the lift power requirements of the trains are only attraction are only traction of the of jet aircraft. In addition to the payload to gross weight ratio of the train is far better than that for aircraft. 9. TACVs do not need to carry fuel for the while trip since they can be related at intermediate station. 10. They do not need the bulky and heavy undergoing aircraft to take u their weight and dynamic loads of landing and take off or do they meet expensive navigation equipments not devices for take off and landing.



Disadvantages of TACV:
Short coming of the system include the high cost of vehicles with cryogenic technology, costly tract structure, high power requirements for levitation (10-15 KW per tone of pay load) power losses due to eddy currents and need for passengers partition from strong magnetic fields.


To abate the noise of TACVs operating in densely populated areas, and to avoid the pollution there is a compulsion to propelled by linear motor even having ACVs better performances over magnetic levitation train.


Though ACVs having speed ranges 400-600 km per hour it is not better to put TACVs services on short of road for better performances.


In this track system, curve are totally avoided, route should be straight because when vehicles moves at the speed more than 400 km per hour, centripetal forces are tremendous on the curve tract, which acts on the vehicle. Hence ACVs thrown away. This threat can be avoided by banking the tract. But banking track requires large radius of curve of a tract, which is uneconomical, and also, passengers traveling in the trains feel uncomfortable.




Safety aspects of transportation pose challenging problems in the modern world. Each year above 55 million accidents occur through out the world. Virtually one driver in nine is either wounded or killed in a road accidents. The death rate due to motor car accidents rank third, behinds those due to coronary diseases and cancer. A winged TACVs would travels faster then a motor car. Therefore, even at the development stage, engineers most establish measure to ensure its operational safety. The intrinsic safety that a winged train offers in operation is a primary due to two factor; the absence of mechanical contact between the train and the supporting surfaces, and consistent coupling of the train with the trestled tract. The absence of mechanical contact due the air cushion, where as the train tract coupling due to the train chassis monorail design. A number of chassis system has been suggested, which design is chosen depends on the many factors, the major one being whether or not the aerodynamic lift at the design speed exceeds the train weight. If the trains weight exceed the aerodynamic lift, then the chassis most be configured to embrace the monorail from above and on either side. Compressed air is driven in to the narrow slot between the plane of the chassis and the tract. This configuration prevents the train from leaving the tract. Any latter displacement, say due the wind, will cause a side gap between the chassis and the track to decrease. This will increase the pressure in the gap and an opposing reaction force will set up.




The power requirement of ACV is enormous large which is not economical particularly developing countries and even for advance countries ACV carrying 100 passengers and weight of the vehicle 23-28 tones, the power needed to fan and LEM (Linear Electric Motor) motor is 4000 k watt. This is enormous power. Hence in economic point of view, this train is uneconomical until we dont solve the fuel problem. Since the ACV requires special type of track it needs heavy investment to built the track.


1. 2. 3. 4. Flying Train Zelkin G.G. Pirogov V.

The Winged TACV .com

Aviation Week and Space Technology (page 120) June 16, 1997


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Introduction A wing train on an air cushion Classification of air cushion vehicles (ACVs) Train with magnetic suspension Braking system of the train Advantages & Disadvantages of winged TACV A safety of TACVs Conclusion Bibliography 1 5 10 11 13 14 17 18 19