China's top aircraft engineer calls for accelerated development of maglev trains

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/3/12 12:04:20

The chief designer of China's first homegrown passenger jet, the C919, has called for accelerated development of maglev trains to further increase the speed of the country's high-speed rail network and stay ahead of global competition.

Wu Guanghui, the vice president of Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China and chief designer of the C919, said at a recent discussion that maglev trains are necessary to further increase the speed of the rail network. 

"The maximum speed for trains running on tracks is said to be 400 kilometers per hour and if we were to further increase speed, we must use magnetic levitation," Wu, who is also a deputy of the National People's Congress (NPC), said during a group discussion of deputies from Shanghai on Sunday, the Economic Daily newspaper reported.

China has already built a test line for maglev trains in Shanghai, which is capable of running at a speed of 500 kilometers per hour, but so far it has only been tested at a speed of 300 kilometers per hour, Wu said.

Wu, who has been involved in national research and development efforts in maglev trains, said others such as Japan and US electric car maker Tesla Inc have also planned to build maglev trains or expressed interest to do so.

"In fact, the whole world has now restarted conducting research on magnetic levitation," he said, suggesting that China should use maglev trains for travel between Beijing and Shanghai.

Asked whether such a move would impact the sale of the C919, Wu said "we are going on different paths! There are other paths for aviation."


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