This is the Horizon Modular Airplane System. The idea is an entirely electric mass transport system that consists of train cars carrying people and a giant plane carrying those train cars. This is the best mass transport I’ve seen since the three-man canoe.
Guided by magnetic rails, akin to those of maglev trains, The Horizon System’s wing module never actually touches down. Refueling (make that recharging) is handled upon securing the incoming passenger cars — the secondary function of which is that of rechargable battery packs. While the wing sails along its maglev rails, outgoing cars are released and incoming ones (pacing the wing upon the ground) are picked up. Once the outgoing cars are attached to their transit rails, they immediately begin recharging their cells.
The Horizon Project does not confine passengers to their own cabin, but encourages them to climb up into the main wing of the aircraft. There, they will find a common space similar to the ground floor of a hotel. There’s a bar, a lounge, a bit of retail space, a series of work cubicles and the obligatory restrooms. There’s even a crew cabin. All this is situated behind a single, massive glass window which encompasses much of the wing’s nose section.
Here’s to hoping this becomes a reality soon. I’ve never ridden on a train, besides the one at the zoo, I would love it if my first train ride had a plane ride in the middle.
Hit the jump for more images and a video.