Birmingham Airport is selling a piece of its history on eBay – the revolutionary magnetic car which once transported passengers to and from the terminal.

The Maglev was the world’s first commercial automated people-mover system and ran from the airport terminal to the nearby Birmingham International railway station between 1984 and1995 – a distance of about 600 metres.

For many it was their first experience of flying – albeit at an altitude of just 15 mm, thanks to the powerful magnetic force which kept the cars off the ground.

Now the airport is selling off one of the historic cars to raise money for Help for Heroes and Acorns Children’s Hospice.

The system was operated for nearly 11 years and it became a common item on technology programmes such as Tomorrows World as it was believed to predict the way forward for transportation systems.

However, problems with the first-generation electronic systems made it unreliable in its later years.