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What about this airplane designed and developed by the Swiss Polytechnic School in Lausanne?|
Well just hold on a second, here comes the pod plane.
It's yet another revolutionary aircraft design, this one created by Switzerland's Federal Polytechnic Institute, that aims to transform the way people and cargo travel.
While the concept might be boundary-pushing, the inspiration is mundane: the humble shipping container.
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Futuristic and disruptive
Despite, or perhaps because of, its simple design, the shipping container is one of the most disruptive inventions of the past century.
It allows cargo to be moved cheaply from one mode of transport to another and has facilitated the development of the complex supply chains all modern economies rely on.
Transfer from truck to giant cargo ship to freight train is seamless and the container can be used again and again, drastically reducing the cost of long-distance shipping.
That's the magic of inter-modal transport -- and it's something the futuristic and potentially game-changing Clip-Air concept hopes to emulate.
Clip-Air is composed of two elements.
There's the flying component, including airframe, cockpit and engines.
Then there's the capsules, a number of detachable pods that can act as cabin or cargo hold, depending on the chosen configuration.
The airframe is based on a flying-wing concept, reminiscent of a stealth bomber. Some may even find some similarities to the X-48, an experimental pilotless aircraft developed for NASA a decade ago.
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