Terretrane Tethered-Glider Transportation System

Product of Terreplane Technologies, LLC

InnoTrans 2018

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4 Bingham
Columbia, MO 65203
United States of America

InnoTrans 2018
  • Railway Technology Railway Technology

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Product description

A zipline-type cable guideway is all that is needed for a transit system that can out-perform all current transportation options for about half of all miles traveled (commuter to intercity transit).
That guideway infrastructure would cost less than 20% of alternative infrastructures and can be easily routed through cities and above streets, building, rivers, tracks, and mountain hollows.

The PRODUCTS of Terreplane Technologies are enabling of these wonderful capabilities. It is possible to have this transportation at 1/5th the cost, 1/5th the energy, 1/5th the time, and 1/5th the environmental footprint of the best alternatives.

While Terretranes are a disruptive technology, the preference is to spend the next decade on implementations that enhance existing infrastructure. The opportunity exists to make railways, air transit, metro systems, busses, and Uber/taxis more profitable than ever during the coming decade as the transition occurs.

The products enable the ultra-low-cost and versatile zipline-type guideway infrastructure.

Terretrane Flying Train "Lifting Bodies"
Terretrane vehicles are designed to fly with zero or minor wing extensions at speeds greater than 90 mph (150 kmh). High Speed Rail locomotives are heavy with low noses; this stops them from flying off the tracks at high speeds.

Does it not make more sense to design the train cars to fly at high speeds while being pulled along an overhead zipline-type cable guideway? ... Yes, it certainly does make more sense. But, the wing extensions (from sides of the train cars) need to be minor or non-existent, or it becomes difficult to manage the transit corridors and guideway supports.

In the presence of a highly critical community (those railway and aerospace professionals, alike), the Terre 1 prototype has emerged (see terretrans.com & the icon for this product description). Here are features of the Terre 1 prototype:
  • Top, bottom, front, and back surfaces are designed to bend air downward and preserve pockets of pressure on lower surfaces and pockets of vacuum on upper surfaces.
  • The higher pressures below the leading edge (rather than a nose) of the vehicle feed a larger pocket of higher pressure below the front wing and diffusers.
  • Diffusers in the form of horizontal plates extend from the back of the front wing and provide a platform for loading/unloading.
  • Diffusers behind all wings gradually relax pressure difference between upper and lower surfaces to minimize turbulence and allow wings/vehicles to follow in close proximity.
  • Expanded versions of "Winglets" appear as vertical and horizontal (e.g. diffusers) surfaces to block undesirable flow of air from high pressure to low pressure pockets.
  • The median car height is reduced to about 1 meter through use of upper and lower extensions along the middle walkway of the vehicle.
    These features along with small wings (e.g. 1 meter extensions on both sides) allow lift-to-drag ratios (L:D) of 12 and higher to be achieved. These L:D are critical for achieving the fuel economy of 1/5th the energy consumption of alternatives.
Terretrane Parcel and Freight Transit
A features that limit the upper L:D values of passenger vehicles are the 1-meter high sitting areas and 2-meter high walkway. These are not necessary for much Parcel and Freight Transit, where much can be transported in compartments less than 0.6 meters in height. Here, L:D ratios of 20 and greater are possible. This translates to 1/8th to 1/10th the fuel consumption of alternative comparable modes freight transit.