Mass Transportation System

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A mass transit system for use in moving a load carrying vehicle along a predetermined route between a number of load handling stations. The mass transportation system includes an unobstructed tube transport means located along the predetermined route. A vehicle provided with antifriction support is conveyed through the tube transport means by the momentum of driving air provided by one or more pumping devices which extracts a fraction of the air flow and substantially immediately reintroduces the air into the tube to create or restore the necessary air momentum. The tube may be continuous or non-continuous and is characterized by uniform cross section and the fact that it provides the support for the vehicle. The vehicle is shaped in cross section so as to substantially fill the cross section of the tube but not completely, so as to allow driving air to flow continuously within the tube even though the vehicle may be traveling at a speed substantially less than the mean velocity of the driving air, as on acceleration or deceleration of the vehicle. The vehicle body is also shaped to provide high drag characteristics so that it may travel within the tube at substantially the same velocity as the driving air. Loading and unloading stations are provided in the system in open communication with the ambient atmosphere, thereby allowing ease of loading and unloading. Each of the pumping devices used for delivering the driving air to the tube transport means is positioned between loading and unloading stations and is capable of producing a high mass rate of air flow at very low static pressure and the loading and unloading stations for the vehicle are positioned at points within the tube system where the static pressure is at or near atmospheric pressure.
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