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Maglev pods in the sky

And now for something completely different.

Image courtesy of: www.skytran.us

Image courtesy of: www.skytran.us

skyTran, Inc., headquartered at the NASA Research Park (NRP) near Mountain View, California, and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a company headquartered in Lod, Israel, entered into an agreement today for the construction of a skyTran Technology Demonstration System (TDS) on the grounds of IAI’s corporate campus. The agreement was executed by the Director of IAI’s Lahav Division, Yosef (Yossi) Melamed and by skyTran CEO, Jerry Sanders.

skyTran is the developer of the patented high-speed, elevated, levitating, energy-efficient, skyTran transportation system. The skyTran system is a network of computer-controlled, 2-person “jet-like” vehicles employing state-of-the-art passive, magnetic levitation (maglev) technology. skyTran systems will transport passengers in a fast, safe, green, and economical manner. skyTran intends to revolutionize public transportation and, with it, urban and suburban commuting.

IAI is a world leader in the development and production of aerospace systems and aircraft. It has accumulated nearly half a century of experience in creating and supplying advanced systems for customers worldwide and it devotes substantial resources to research and development.

Jerry Sanders remarked, “The support afforded by IAI is a breakthrough for skyTran. IAI, as a worldclass designer of aircraft and avionics, is the perfect partner to take skyTran from concept to construct.” Yossi Melamed declared, “We are proud to be part of this exciting moment in transportation history and to host the first SkyTran system in our grounds. The TDS will incorporate IAI’s advanced capabilities in the areas of engineering, robotics, and control.”

The TDS will incorporate skyTran’s salient features. It will provide a platform for skyTran vehicles to travel at high speeds, with full payloads while levitating. The TDS will enable testing, refinement, and validation of skyTran’s technology in a controlled environment.

The TDS will be followed by deployment of the first commercial skyTran system in Tel Aviv, Israel. Other projects worldwide are pending TDS completion.

Via Engadget and Swamplot, the latter of which picked it up because the featured image on the Engadget post, which I have included here, is a bizarre mashup of Houston’s downtown skyline and some freeway/green space combination that may not exist anywhere, courtesy of skyTran’s images page. The About and Benefits pages will tell you what there is to know about this idea, which if it is successful in Israel could come to San Francisco (skyTran’s US headquarters), where is would undoubtedly compete with the trolleys as a tourist attraction, if nothing else. After that, who knows? I wonder if John Culberson would let one of these things get built on Richmond Avenue.

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