After China's first homemade magnetic levitation (maglev) train passed performance tests the project base of maglev airplane will also be settled in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province in west China.
As reported, the project is a Sino-US cooperation for which the agreement has been signed.
Maglev plane is developed by an American university and has not been applied in any country. It is a new type of track vehicle for hi-speed transportation on land. Not touching the track, maglev plane could "fly" at a maximum speed of 500 km/hour. Also it has advantages of simple in structure, low cost and low noise.
Different from ordinary maglev train, the maglev plane must depend on track to run, but its automatic control system, apartment, satellite positioning system and other equipment are all designed according to airplane standards. It also claims stability as of a real airplane.
The cooperation agreement must first get approval of the Chinese and US governments, and then a production base would be set up in Chengdu. The whole production line is to be built on tracks and maglev plane is expected to pass state appraisal by June 2004.
Party leaders of Chengdu city says maglev plane has very big market perspective, and the project would greatly lift the city's international status, improve city transportation and speed up development of relevant industries.
(People's Daily 09/30/2001)