Imagine you are sitting comfortably in the compartment of a train, then within just a few moments the whole thing has turned into an airplane – and you take off. That sounds like a scene from a science fiction film. But according to a few French engineers, this could soon become reality.
Behind the futuristic idea is the French company Akka Technologies, which has now presented its concept for a flying train under the name “Link & Fly”.
From train to plane to train…
Here’s the idea: the aircraft and train are to be built as separate modules that can be coupled together and taken apart as required.
As a passenger, you get on the train at a train station and drive to the airport. Once you arrive at your destination, however, you no longer have to get off the train. Instead, you simply remain seated while the train module rolls onto the runway and docks into the flight module. Then, you are ready to fly.
From the other direction, it should work just as smoothly. As soon as the aircraft has landed, the aircraft module decouples and the aircraft becomes the train that carries the passengers onward to the destination station.
Flying trains: Less stress for passengers
The dimensions mentioned in the video show that Akka Technologies has both goods transport and large passenger jets in mind with its concept.
This would of course be a great service for passengers. There would be no more stress about the train being late on its way to the airport. It could also save valuable time.
Instead of having to check in at the airport two or three hours before departure, passengers could easily do this in a flying train on the way. Akka Technologies has developed a retinal scan procedure for this purpose.
Akka’s managing director Maurice Ricci had this to say about the concept:
After cars become electric and autonomous, airplanes are the next big disruption.
Interested parties wanted
The company is currently looking for interested customers in Asia and North America. There could be several airlines interested in such a concept.
Akka Technologies would probably not build the flying train by itself, but in conjunction with the partners it will work with, Ricci hopes.
The principle would be nothing new for the company. It “lends” its experts to customers all the time, to help implement individual concepts or sub-concepts. This could also be the model for Link & Fly.
“We are in discussions with Boeing to understand where closer cooperation in our broad spectrum of aerospace expertise could come about. The Link & Fly concept is very helpful as a forward-looking innovation concept,” a company spokesman told Mobility Mag.
But there is still a long way to go. Up to now, the flying train has only been a concept in an advertising film. There isn’t even a prototype.
But in the world of rapid mobility, that doesn’t have to mean anything. Who knows, maybe we’ll see the first flying trains soon!