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The date for the operational debut and dedication of the maglev transportation system at Old Dominion University has been moved from Sept. 30 to Friday, Nov. 15, at 10 a.m.

According to Old Dominion President Roseann Runte, the change was at the request of Tony Morris, president of American Maglev Technology, to allow for more time to complete the 167 tests required under the federal National People Mover Code of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

"Certification involves a rigorous testing and inspection process, and while this is underway, it is anticipated that the process will not be completed in time for a Sept. 30 'liftoff' ceremony," explained Runte.

"One needs only to look at the university's full-scale wind tunnel, where testing and work is being done on the re-creation of the Wright Brothers' 1903 Flyer, to understand the capricious and protracted process of developing new technology," said Runte. "The famous brothers undertook their quest for flight in 1899, but it took fully five years of creating, testing, deconstructing, retooling and re-creating prior to their history-making flight from the beaches of Kitty Hawk, N.C."

A proposed solution to the country's transportation problems, American Maglev's system features a train-like vehicle that rides on an electromagnetic cushion of air atop an elevated guideway. The cars will be able to move quietly at high speeds, producing no air pollution. Systems can be built on existing rights-of-way.

This article was posted on: August 23, 2002

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