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New Ways: Tiltrotor Aircraft and Magnetically Levitated Vehicles

New Ways: Tiltrotor Aircraft and Magnetically Levitated Vehicles

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Published by Chris Nash
On almost any journey between major cities in the United States, travelers encounter traffic jams on busy roads and at airports. Magnetically levitated (maglev) vehicles and tiltrotor aircraft are among the technologies that could improve passenger mobility at large terminals and in the most crowded intercity corridors in the United States in the long term. However, like all new transportation systems, both tiltrotor and maglev will be expensive to develop and establish, and some form of Federal support will be necessary if either one is to have a substantial role in intercity passenger service. Furthermore, complementary Federal policies, programs, and standards must be developed and implemented, if these technologies are to help resolve any of the congestion problems besetting transportation. Budget constraints and the uncertainties inherent in deciding how much and what type of additional Federal investment to make in these two technologies confront Congress with difficult decisions.
On almost any journey between major cities in the United States, travelers encounter traffic jams on busy roads and at airports. Magnetically levitated (maglev) vehicles and tiltrotor aircraft are among the technologies that could improve passenger mobility at large terminals and in the most crowded intercity corridors in the United States in the long term. However, like all new transportation systems, both tiltrotor and maglev will be expensive to develop and establish, and some form of Federal support will be necessary if either one is to have a substantial role in intercity passenger service. Furthermore, complementary Federal policies, programs, and standards must be developed and implemented, if these technologies are to help resolve any of the congestion problems besetting transportation. Budget constraints and the uncertainties inherent in deciding how much and what type of additional Federal investment to make in these two technologies confront Congress with difficult decisions.

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Published by: Chris Nash on Jul 26, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/09/2014

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 New Ways: Tiltrotor Aircraft and  Magnetically Levitated Vehicles
September 1991
OTA-SET-507NTIS order #N92-14933
 
Recommended Citation:U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, New
Ways: Tiltrotor Aircrafl & Magnetically Levitated Vehicles, OTA-SET-507 
(Washington, DC: U.S. GovernmentPrinting Office, October 1991).
For sale by the U.S. Government Printing OfficeSuperintendent of Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-9328
ISBN O-16 -035630-X
 
Foreword
Flying on a commercial jet is now the fastest way for the public to travel between most cities inthe United States. But travelers spend much of their trip time getting to or from the airport, at theterminal, or in the airplane while it sits on the ground. Magnetically levitated (maglev) vehicles andtiltrotor aircraft are among the new and distinctly different technologies that have been proposed tohelp travelers go from origin to destination quicker than conventional airlines or Amtrak, on tripsup to about 500 miles.In recent years, Congress has supported both military tiltrotor development and research intomaglev technologies, although budget constraints have threatened this funding each year. At therequest of the House Committee on Appropriations, OTA assessed what is currently known abouttiltrotor and maglev, and what roles these and other advanced technologies could play in improvingintercity transportation. The late Senator John Heinz had also asked OTA to study the construction
costs of various high-speed rail and maglev systems.
Common issues for these systems include their possible contributions to improving mobility in
congested corridors, U.S. technology leadership, the Federal role in transportation research anddevelopment, and institutional and community barriers to major, new infrastructure programs.
Moreover, some Federal financing is likely to be required if commercial maglev or tiltrotor technol-
ogies are to be developed by U.S. industry over the next decade.
Congress will need to clarify its objectives for supporting or encouraging these technologiesbefore it can make wise decisions on when or whether to undertake substantial, long-term Federal
programs in support of either or both of them. This report identifies several funding and management
options for consideration if such goals are established.OTA thanks the many government, industry, and citizen participants who contributed gener-ously to this study through workshop panels, interviews, reviews, and other means of sharing theirknowledge and experience with us. Their participation does not necessarily represent endorsementof the contents of the report, for which OTA bears sole responsibility.
,
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67’LA#
2
JOHN H. GIBBONS
 Director 
. .
Ill

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