Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Most Popular

Clip Air brings air travel by train

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 02:35

June 19 - Swiss researchers have released futuristic designs for attachable modular aircraft that will allow passengers to board a plane at a railway station and disembark at their destination without ever setting foot in an airport. EPFL says its Clip Air project is no flight of fancy. Jim Drury reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Catching a plane could one day be as easy as boarding a train, according to researchers at Swiss technology institute, EPFL. Their Clip Air planes would comprise a flying wing containing the engines, cockpit, fuel and landing gear, that would attach to capsules containing passengers or cargo. Those capsules would have been boarded at a railway station and driven to the airport along conventional track. Flights could thus be boarded without passengers ever stepping inside an airport. Chief designer is Claudio Leonardi, who showed off his blueprint at the Paris Air Show. SOUNDBITE (French) CLAUDIO LEONARDI, LEADER OF EPFL'S CLIP-AIR PROJECT, SAYING: "A passenger who travels in a Clip Air capsule finds himself in a plane while travelling from the station to the airport. Then at the airport he'll be clipped under the wings of the plane, which will transport him to the next airport... and then unclipped, and carried right to the city centre." EPFL say three capsules could carry 450 people and by mixing and matching freight and passengers according to demand, the days of half-empty flights would be over. Leonardi says companies could eventually own their own capsules instead of private jets. SOUNDBITE (French) CLAUDIO LEONARDI, LEADER OF EPFL'S CLIP-AIR PROJECT, SAYING: "The next stage would be to leave the airport zone inside the capsules and return directly to a company's offices. Companies would be able to own a plane which doesn't have wings, which doesn't have a cockpit, and which doesn't have a motor." But could this really be the future of air travel or is it just a flight of fancy? Analyst and former pilot Chris Long has his doubts. SOUNDBITE (English) CHRIS LONG, EDITOR CAT EUROPEAN AFFAIRS AND FORMER MILITARY AND CIVIL PILOT, SAYING: "You're still going to have to check-in and go through all that procedure and you are having to enter the transport system at some point, whether that's in a train station or at an airport....Then if you look at the sheer aerodynamics of it....aeroplanes are designed to be super efficient. To take a basic shape like that and strap things underneath it is not the most aerodynamic way of building a flying solution." Leonardi admits there will also be security issues to overcome. Clip Air passengers might indeed have to enter the terminal to be checked. The most pressing concern is getting the designs off the ground - literally. The team plan to build and test a six metre long flying model powered by mini-reactors. The plan remains a long-term goal and it could be at least a decade before the design comes to fruition. But EPFL are convinced there's a future for this piece of blue sky thinking.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Clip Air brings air travel by train

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 02:35

Top News »

Retirement »

Investing 201 »

Bond investors brace for the end of Fed stimulus Bond investors brace for the end of Fed...

Fri, Oct 10, 2014 - (4:03)

Arian Foster = BlackBerry? Arian Foster = BlackBerry?

Fri, Oct 25, 2013 - (3:16)

Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs Don’t miss these red flags for IPOs

Thu, Oct 10, 2013 - (2:34)

Copycat currency trading Copycat currency trading

Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - (2:28)

When to dump a winner When to dump a winner

Tue, Sep 24, 2013 - (1:55)

Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers Where gold might again attract Jim Rogers

Thu, Sep 19, 2013 - (2:05)

Why savings interest rates won't budge Why savings interest rates won't budge

Fri, Sep 13, 2013 - (2:09)

Buy local? ETFs try the trend Buy local? ETFs try the trend

Thu, Sep 05, 2013 - (2:42)

The better bond funds The better bond funds

Wed, Aug 07, 2013 - (2:40)

Best bargain in 40 years? European stocks Best bargain in 40 years? European stocks

Thu, Aug 01, 2013 - (2:24)

Invest like an activist Invest like an activist

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 - (2:49)

Why bruised Brazil is a buy Why bruised Brazil is a buy

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 - (2:48)

3 ways to fix your bond portfolio 3 ways to fix your bond portfolio

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 - (3:10)

The next gold? Diamonds lure investors The next gold? Diamonds lure investors

Wed, Jul 03, 2013 - (2:38)

How to play the Fed’s tapering timeline How to play the Fed’s tapering timeline

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 - (2:34)

How to play banker on the web How to play banker on the web

Tue, Jun 11, 2013 - (2:57)

3 surprises about the 2013 stock rally 3 surprises about the 2013 stock rally

Fri, May 24, 2013 - (2:11)

How to cash in on lawsuits - Investing 201 How to cash in on lawsuits - Investing 201

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 - (2:30)

Rising dollar will drive stocks higher Rising dollar will drive stocks higher

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 - (2:32)

A little-known path to big dividends - Investing 201 A little-known path to big dividends -...

Thu, Apr 04, 2013 - (3:16)

What exactly does Warren Buffett own? - Investing 201 What exactly does Warren Buffett own? -...

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 - (0:51)

Big short bets: Where are they now? - Investing 201 Big short bets: Where are they now? -...

Fri, Dec 21, 2012 - (2:33)

How iPhone 5 sales affect your wealth - Investing 201 How iPhone 5 sales affect your wealth -...

Wed, Sep 26, 2012 - (2:52)

Money Clip »

Will Apple Pay transform mobile payments? Will Apple Pay transform mobile payments?

Thu, Oct 16, 2014 - (2:45)

3 things to do before disaster strikes 3 things to do before disaster strikes

Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - (1:39)

Your must-do money list Your must-do money list

Wed, Sep 11, 2013 - (1:24)

The worst "best" financial advice The worst "best" financial advice

Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - (1:42)

Forget gold: The case for REITs Forget gold: The case for REITs

Fri, Apr 26, 2013 - (1:19)

3 rules for buying a house now 3 rules for buying a house now

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 - (1:39)

“Stalking” your dream home - Money Clip “Stalking” your dream home - Money Clip

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 - (2:50)

3 hidden tax deductions - Money Clip 3 hidden tax deductions - Money Clip

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 - (1:33)

How to break your prenup - Money Clip How to break your prenup - Money Clip

Thu, Mar 07, 2013 - (1:18)

Watch your wallet on Pinterest - Money Clip Watch your wallet on Pinterest - Money Clip

Thu, Feb 21, 2013 - (1:33)

Get set for the big bull run - Money Clip Get set for the big bull run - Money Clip

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 - (3:41)

Moving Pictures »

Dance of the northern lights Dance of the northern lights

Mon, Oct 20, 2014 - (1:08)

Images of September Images of September

Wed, Oct 01, 2014 - (1:00)

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, Sep 05, 2014 - (2:05)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, Sep 01, 2014 - (2:23)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (3:12)

Images of August Images of August

Fri, Aug 29, 2014 - (1:00)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Thu, Jul 03, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - (3:04)

World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals

Fri, Jun 06, 2014 - (1:08)

VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light

Fri, May 30, 2014 - (1:37)

The week that changed Boston The week that changed Boston

Mon, Apr 14, 2014 - (3:28)

360° snapshot of life in Kabul 360° snapshot of life in Kabul

Fri, Apr 04, 2014 - (1:26)

A blind teenager, living with vision A blind teenager, living with vision

Thu, Mar 27, 2014 - (3:51)

TIMELAPSE: Backstage at the Oscars TIMELAPSE: Backstage at the Oscars

Wed, Mar 05, 2014 - (2:49)

TIMELAPSE: Lunch with Oscar nominees TIMELAPSE: Lunch with Oscar nominees

Wed, Feb 12, 2014 - (2:55)

Sochi Highlights: Let the games begin Sochi Highlights: Let the games begin

Fri, Feb 07, 2014 - (0:40)

TIMELAPSE: On the Golden Globes red carpet TIMELAPSE: On the Golden Globes red carpet

Tue, Jan 14, 2014 - (3:28)

Pictures of the Year 2013 Pictures of the Year 2013

Fri, Dec 20, 2013 - (3:03)

Marching to the beat of Sousa's drum Marching to the beat of Sousa's drum

Thu, Dec 05, 2013 - (6:11)

The Gettysburg Address The Gettysburg Address

Thu, Nov 28, 2013 - (2:31)

Making Gruyere: A family affair Making Gruyere: A family affair

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 - (5:06)

Abortion: After the decision Abortion: After the decision

Tue, Sep 17, 2013 - (5:46)

A Hollywood Timelapse A Hollywood Timelapse

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 - (2:24)

Idaho's militia training Idaho's militia training

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 - (5:04)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (10:39)

Lessons of the Jihad Jane case - Reuters Investigates Lessons of the Jihad Jane case - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (3:43)

Exclusive: Jihad Jane in her own words Exclusive: Jihad Jane in her own words

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (4:11)

Attorney: How a Maryland teenager became radicalized - Reuters Investigates Attorney: How a Maryland teenager became...

Fri, Dec 07, 2012 - (4:21)

Counselor: Jihad Jane at 17 - Reuters Investigates Counselor: Jihad Jane at 17 - Reuters...

Thu, Dec 06, 2012 - (4:17)

Dateline Asia »

FACTBOX: Japan's Abe loses two female ministers in one day FACTBOX: Japan's Abe loses two female...

Mon, Oct 20, 2014 - (1:20)

Breakingviews: Indonesia's Jokowi has a parliament problem Breakingviews: Indonesia's Jokowi has a...

Sun, Oct 19, 2014 - (2:19)

Investment Strategies: Don't worry, buy emerging markets Investment Strategies: Don't worry, buy...

Thu, Oct 16, 2014 - (3:58)

Breakingviews: Worse troubles than Agile brewing in China Breakingviews: Worse troubles than Agile...

Sun, Oct 12, 2014 - (2:35)

NBA's Brooklyn Nets hope to boost global profile in China NBA's Brooklyn Nets hope to boost global...

Fri, Oct 10, 2014 - (4:09)

Breakingviews: Hong Kong finance sector unmoved by protests Breakingviews: Hong Kong finance sector...

Thu, Oct 09, 2014 - (3:17)

Hong Kong markets keep calm and carry on Hong Kong markets keep calm and carry on

Mon, Oct 06, 2014 - (1:39)

China's one-child policy explored in photos China's one-child policy explored in photos

Mon, Oct 06, 2014 - (2:31)