Invention of the Year 2006

The RailPlane is made possible by two distinctly different technologies and both of them pertain to rail fabrication.The first to be developed was the StrawJet technology which won the 2006 Invention of the Year contest sponsored by the History Channel, TIME Magazine, and the Inventors Hall of Fame. This technology processes agricultural residue in the form of fibrous plant material into a tightly compressed 2-inch diameter cable that is both stiff and flexible.

There have been other elevated personal rapid transit (PRT) systems proposed, but the cost of the rail infrastructure has kept them from being widely adopted. The challenge is this; straight rails of virtually any configuration are relatively easy to fabricate and therefore inexpensive. Curved rails, on the other hand, are not. This is particularly true with a high-speed system because of the the degree of precision required. It was for this reason that our venture into the possibility of the RailPlane technology started first with the creation of StrawJet.

The second invention that was required to allow this to become feasible is the 3-D printing mechanism which creates the rail itself.

The process goes like this; The rail profile is initially created out of the StrawJet material then subsequently covered with steel reinforced concrete.

2001 – 2004 Built two StrawJet prototypes.

2004 Filed patent for StrawJet

2004 Established StrawJet Inc.

2004 -2005 Receive SBIR grant to build third StrawJet prototype.

2006 StrawJet wins History Channel Invention of the Year award.

2006 Raised money to build two complete StrawJet machines and associated equipment.

2007 -2009 Awarded US-AID contract for environmental project in Malawi.

2008-Successfully complete the two StrawJet machines

2008-Received grant from the Lemelson foundation to fund R&D project in partnership with Washington State University.

2008-Delegation goes to China to pitch StrawJet.

2012 – 2013 Create several 1/10 scale solid wooden RailPlane models

2014 – 2015 Built three, 1/10 scale radio controlled prototypes and associated rail.

2015- Demonstrate prototypes at Bioneers event in California.

2016- Established RailPlane as an Oregon benefit corp.

2016- Created Solid Works 3-D model of the rail fabrication mechanism.

2016- Filed patent for 3-D printing technology.

2017- Submit proposals to the Costa Rican Parks Department and Brazil’s parks Department.