h a l f b a k e r y
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This might perhaps fit under trains/Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) as well.
Create a dual, parallel set of tensioned electrical power cables or very lightweight track/rail suspended from towers going cross country. Small various sized 1 to 6 person electric powered aircraft would tether to these lines
for cross country travel. Tether(s) would be attached by a wheeled bogie or magnetically repelled system providing support and electrical contact. The "aircraft" would be self flying and control appropriate tension on the tether. Switching systems would allow for route selection.
Tower and cable system should be much less expensive than a rail system. Easements should be much easier to obtain as the tower footprints would be low, and height of towers could be varied as required. As the "rail" is not supporting the weight of the craft, the distance between towers could be maximized. Of course there would still be noise that could be a problem, but electric motors and perhaps noise abating ducted fans could help.