Trains that clip to planes. It may sound unbelievable, but it is a genuine concept that has gone on display this week at an aerospace show in Paris.
‘Clip-Air’ has been touted by its developers, Swiss university EPFL, as the future of intermodal travel. Passengers could board a train in London and arrive in New York without leaving their seat.
Train capsules would travel directly to the airport from city centre railway stations where they would then latch onto the underside of a specially-equipped plane.
The aircraft would be capable of supporting three of these capsules, each with around 150 passengers on board.
As well as passenger services, the same concept could be applied to the transportation of freight goods, engineers at EPFL believe.
EPFL has said that Clip-Air’s fuel consumption would also be lower than that of a conventional aircraft.
Unveiling the concept, head of the Clip-Air project Claudio Leonardi said: “We still have to break down several barriers but we do believe that it is worth to work in such a concept, at odds with current aircraft technology and which can have a huge impact on society.”
A model of the plane, which has been in development since 2009, is on show this week at the International Paris Air Show.