#2161: TunnelTrain

I just watched the movie entitled ‘Senna’ which left me feeling pretty uncharitable towards any French officialdom. This now extends to the FIA who seem to make all the rules in connection with land speed record setting.

Instead of having to tour the world for a level, flat surface several miles long and so that drivers stand some chance of not being killed, today’s invention is a rolling road for such record attempts.

This would be mounted inside a supersonic wind tunnel, so that the vehicle would experience exactly the same aerodynamic effects as if it were hurtling along a salt flat.

One difference would be that if the car became unstable, and ran off the rollers, a hoist to which the vehicle would be attached using a number of fine carbon fibre cords would stop it crashing off the simulated road surface (red).

The other difference would be that to get an inlet air speed of Mach1+, the fan would be assisted by mounting the tunnel on the back of a bullet train.

These tend to have long, straight, smooth sections of track without too many railway tunnels.

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