A model of the aerotrain. [Photo: people.cn]
A high-speed aerotrain that could run 400 to 500 kilometers per hour is being developed by China and Japan in a joint effort, Chinese media Chongqing Morning Post reported.
The aerotrain doesn't run on traditional fuel resources such as coal, gas or electricity, and is expected to change the world's transportation system, according to experts.
Trial manufacturing and test runs of the first and second generation aerotrain have been conducted in Japan, said Lai Chenguang, a professor of Chongqing University of Technology, who participates in the project.
The train will be fully powered by natural energy, reducing costs while improving speed, he noted. "If the train runs at a speed of 500 km/h, the energy it consumes is only 1/3 of that consumed by current high-speed trains, and 1/6 of the maglev trains," Lai said.
The new design of an annular spoiler is a major highlight of the aerotrain. Different from the traditional, vertical spoilers which tend to produce unstable airflow, the annular spoiler can increase the lift-drag ratio by 30% to 40%, vastly improving the operation stability.
In addition, the load capacity of the train will also be enhanced thanks to the new design.
Based on aerodynamic studies, Chongqing University of Technology has furthered the research and has since made the third generation model of the train "LOOP".
Lai said that the zero-pollution train is seemingly impossible to manufacture, but it is actually achievable.