Francis Lauer, an inventor from Paris, dreamed of combining an airplane and a monorail to achieve what he called "guided flight." Although we dismissed the project's aeronautic capabilities and questioned its cost, we admitted that the project could be a good scientific experiment if Lauer found the proper funding. His flying train would consist of one egg-shaped car with four stories: one for the luggage, one for about 30 passengers, one for the engine and one for the operator. To steer the egg, the operator would use a lever to turn the wings. We pointed out a number of practical issues with the machinery: for one thing, the propeller would have to be huge in order to move the heavy, four-story car forward. Secondly, the foundations would be expensive to build. Finally, the use of wings instead of wheels meant that the car would move very slowly. Despite its potential as a study in aviation, we concluded that Lauer's monorail flier would be better off as a pocket-sized toy.
Read the full story in "He Dreams of Flying on a Rail"