EVACUATED TUBE VEHICLES VERSUS JET AIRCRAFT FOR HIGH-SPEED TRANSPORTATION

A preliminary investigation has been made of the potentialities of a high-speed low-loss transportation which could be competitive with the air-transport system. This system, called the MEL (magnetic-suspension, evacuated-tube, linear-motor-propulsion) system, employs passenger-carrying vehicles vertically supported by permanent magnets and laterally stabilized by an electromagnetic servosystem, with no physical contact between vehicle and surroundings. Aerodynamic drag is reduced by two orders of magnitude (compared to operation in open atmosphere) by evacuation of the subterranean tube in which the vehicle travels. (A tube pressure of 10 to the 3rd power atm is assumed.) A linear motor is used for propulsion in the proposed system; since the low drag permits extensive coating, only a small fraction of the track-mounted primary requires energization. Assuming magnetic drag negligible compared to aerodynamic drag at 270 m/s, a 1-percent reduction in coating velocity would occur in approximately 85 km. The ultimate speed of this system will probably be determined by ground stability, track linearization econmics, and suspension stabilization design. The MEL-system vehicle is assumed to attain a cruise speed of 270 m/s for calculating the economic potentiality of the system. The required track straightness for this speed is discussed. The major expense item for the operator of the MEL system is amortization of construction cost, but anticipated annual revenues for a New York, N.Y.-Los Angeles, Calif. route in the 1980's far exceed this cost.

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 604-616
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 61
    • Issue Number: 5

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00050045
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 4 1974 12:00AM