Flexible & Efficient

It is an innovative and ingenious concept that could revolutionise air transport

Issue: 08-2013

TThe Clip-Air project is laying the groundwork for tomorrow’s air transport technology—flexible, efficient and less energy consuming. The modular aircraft under development in Switzerland since 2009 will merge the speed of air travel with the flexibility of rail transport. Clip-Air is a multidisciplinary project developed in collaboration with various laboratories at EPFL in the course of several student projects, a doctoral thesis and scientific publications. The project is coordinated by the Transportation Center at Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne (EPFL). It represents a feasible technological challenge with implications that go well beyond the air transport sector.

Claudio Leonardi, in charge of the Clip-Air project at EPFL, says: “We still have to break down several barriers, but we do believe that it is worth working on such a concept, at odds with current aircraft technology and which can have a huge impact on society.”

The laboratories that are currently involved in the project are: Transport and Mobility Laboratory with one ongoing doctoral thesis; the Computer and Visualisation Laboratory for images and communication, the flight simulator and the architecture of the airport for Clip-Air; the Steel Structures Laboratory for the structural component of the project; and Laboratories in Mechanical Engineering for the aerodynamics component of the project.