A STUDY OF THE APPLICABILITY OF AIR-PAD SUPPORT FOR URBAN TRANSPORTATION VEHICLES - MONOGRAPH NO 19

THE REPORT EXAMINES THE APPLICABILITY OF AIR-PAD (AIR CUSHION) SUPPORT FOR URBAN TRANSPORTATION VEHICLES. THE SCOPE OF THIS STUDY IS LIMITED TO APPLICATIONS AT SPEEDS BELOW 100 MPH BETWEEN STOPS CONVENTIONALLY SPACED AT INTERVALS OF LESS THAN FIVE MILES. IT WAS FOUND THAT WHILE LOW CLEARANCE REQUIRES LESS POWER OUTPUT AND NOISE PRODUCTION, VEHICLE HANDLING TENDS TO BE STIFF AND RIGID, CAUSING AN UNCOMFORTABLE RIDE. LARGE-CLEARANCE AIR CUSHIONS FILMS CONSUME SUBSTANTIALLY MORE POWER AND THUS GENERATE NOISE LEVELS UNACCEPTABLE FOR URBAN TRANSPORTATION. THE VEHICLE ENJOYS AN ALMOST "FRICTIONLESS" GROUND INTERFACE, HOWEVER, THIS CREATES UNIQUE BRAKING AND GUIDANCE PROBLEMS WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN OVERCOME. THE AUTHOR EXAMINES TWO MEANS OF PROVIDING VEHICLE GUIDANCE, OPTIMAL CLEARANCE LEVELS, PROPULSION ALTERNATIVES, POTENTIAL BRAKING ALTERNATIVES, AND PROJECTED GUIDEWAY COSTS. THE AUTHOR CONCLUDES THAT IN GENERAL, AIR CUSHION VEHICLES DO NOT PRESENT MAJOR ADVANTAGES AND THAT A MAJOR RD&D EFFORT IN THE FIELD OF AIR-PAD SUPPORTS IS NOT RECOMMENDED. THE REPORT NOTES THAT SUCH VEHICLES ARE PRACTICAL ONLY WHEN EMPLOYED ON A GUIDEWAY AND THAT THEIR INTRODUCTION WOULD BE IN DIRECT COMPETITION WITH EXISTING GUIDEWAY SYSTEMS. FURTHER, THE AIR CUSHION VEHICLES OFFER NO DISTINCT ADVANTAGES OVER THESE CONVENTIONAL APPLICATIONS WITHIN THE SERVICE PARAMETERS SPECIFIED. /UMTA/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • PROJ NO NSS-3
  • Corporate Authors:

    Battelle Memorial Institute

    Columbus, OH  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Givens, W R
  • Publication Date: 1967-10

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00241854
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Urban Mass Transportation Administration
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 17 1973 12:00AM