It remains only about a month before the presentation of the first industrial sample of the high-speed SkyWay unibus capable of accelerating to 500 km/h speed. The way it can be has been repeatedly demonstrated in various kinds of presentations, which were numerous during the decades of the project development. The way it will be is one of the main intrigues of the trade fair InnoTrans 2018 (in Russian) to be held in Berlin from 18 to 21 September. However, some details regarding this development were revealed to investors at this year’s EcoFest.
High-speed SkyWay is one of the most ambitious trends in technology development. 500 km/h at a height of several meters above the ground, with maximum comfort and safety. Overcoming immense distances in a matter of hours at a fair often even lower than on a railway. Given that the cost of building such a system will be tenfold lower than the cost of building any of the high-speed railroads existing in the market today, and energy consumption at maximum speed limited to only 8 liters per 100 kilometers in fuel equivalent, a ticket for Minsk – Moscow route will cost about 30 USD, and the travel will take only about an hour and a half, during which a passenger will stay in a soft ergonomic chair. It is against 50 USD and 9 and a half hours in a stuffy economy class sleeping car offered as a transportation service today. As they say, feel the difference.
At InnoTrans 2018, the difference between the transport of the past and the transport of the future will be felt literally, being among the first visitors to test the cabin of a high-speed module and to evaluate its innovative design that provides a truly fantastic aerodynamic drag factor: Cx = 0.06, which approaches the theoretical maximum and surpasses similar rates at the fastest and most expensive sports cars by at least five times.
In addition to their basic function, high-speed transportation systems will become a powerful stimulus for social and economic development in the near future. They will significantly increase mobility opportunities, accelerate trade turnover, serve as a basis for the development and expansion of power and information networks, while not damaging the ecology of the territories, in which it will be built, but, on the contrary, making a significant contribution to improve the situation both locally and globally through energy efficiency. Linear cities will be set up along the routes. They will be created with a fundamentally different logic than the present settlements – pedestrian, clean, affordable, safe and comfortable for living. The outlines of all this can be seen in the configuration of the high-speed module already on September 18. It was expected that this system would show itself in action soon, however, this moment is a little delayed. But not for long.
As the General designer Anatoly Yunitskiy said in his report at EcoFest 2018, it is planned to build a high-speed track with a length of at least 25 km needed to achieve the declared speeds in the UAE. This has not happened yet in Belarus, where the engineer planned to launch such a construction two years ago, so that by now it could have been close to completion, if not ready. Officials of the republic refused to allocate land, referring to the fact that the arguments from SkyWay are unconvincing, because a lot of valuable tree species will be cut along the swamp where the route will pass, and a large number of birds will allegedly perish from the movement of a high-speed unibus. And this is despite the fact that the project designing organization has passed all the required bureaucratic procedures, collected 16 approvals ranging from power engineers and communication operators to firefighters and environmentalists.
On the contrary, officials, to be more precise, the UAE government, was able to consider the prospects of SkyWay and supported the project understanding that among the transport solutions offered today only Yunitskiy’s SkyWay Transport is able to provide the level of economy, environmental friendliness and safety that will meet future challenges in this area and will be able to set a new standard for the future.
According to Anatoly Yunitskiy, the Emirates’ government has already confirmed its words by deeds, allocating for free a total of more than 50 hectares of land, worth of hundreds of million dollars in the market for two technological sites of SkyWay, one of which has the required length (25 km), where Anatoly Yunitskiy plans to reach up to 600 km/h speed, with the extension of the route to 60 km, where the Hyper U forevacuum tube with designed speed of 1,250 km/h will be built soon!
Anatoly Yunitskiy began to work out the idea of Hyper U project announced at EcoFest 2018 for the first time more than 40 years ago – since the 70s of the last century, even before the invention of SkyWay. All technical solutions have already been created over these years, and it will be another breakthrough transport technology, but fundamentally different from Hyperloop. Back in 1995, the inventor described it in detail in his monograph “String Transport Systems: on Earth and in Space”:
“At speeds of over 200 meter per second (720 km/h), the transport system should be placed in a special tube of 2-3 m in diameter, from which air is pumped out. The tube can be located both above and below the ground, as well as under water at a depth of 10-100 meters, so as not to interfere with navigation and not to be exposed to the destructive impact of storms.”
In the offshore area, arrangement of such a route is assumed in a submarine tube-tunnel made with zero buoyancy, since the impact of destructive storms is excluded at such a depth. To bypass powerful ocean currents, the tunnel can go down to a greater depth. In order to provide the tunnel with extra buoyancy, in other words, to prevent flooding of the tube under the influence of a mobile load, special floats anchored at the seabed are used. It is interesting that, taking into account low material intensity and rare installation of anchor pulls – at distances from 100 m to 10 km from each other – the depth of the sea is not of fundamental importance to the cost of the transport system! Submarine float stations made with high extra buoyancy, perform the role of anchor supports in this case. Smaller in size intermediate supports can be arranged inside a tube-tunnel made of steel or pre-stressed reinforced concrete having an internal diameter of 2.5-3 m. It is stretched in the longitudinal direction, therefore it is a pre-stressed structure and works as a string.
At the present stage of developing hyper-speed transport by Anatoly Yunitskiy, the limit of systems perfection is pushed even further than it was described by him in 1995. However, premieres of Hyper U industrial prototypes and speed records over 1,000 km/h is a matter of the future, albeit not too remote one. The first sample of the high-speed SkyWay rolling stock capable of accelerating up to 500 km/h is the today’s reality, construction of a 25-kilometer route for it is tomorrow’s day, which will come very, very soon, and after which the concept of “transport” will acquire a new meaning.
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