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Questions about SkyWay high-speed transport

7/2/18
Микроразметка статьи
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News "About SkyWay high-speed transport: less is more" caused quite a stormy (and mostly negative) discussion of the "sofa experts", to whom, unfortunately some of our investors-opponents belong .  That is why our news service asked for clarifications from the main expert, General Designer of the technology which bears his name.  Here are Anatoliy Yunitskiy's answers to the opponents' main claims.

Anatoliy Yunitskiy's commentaries: 

"Firstly, we are creating a new transport and infrastructure branch, the optimization of which is a very complex process with non-trivial cause-and-effect relations.  Have you ever thought about the reasons why Ford's car beat Stefenson's steam locomotive?  Billions of cars on 35 million kilometers of highways run in the world, while the length of railways is just over a million.  There are two main reasons:  travelling "door-to-door" due to extensive transport and logistics network, and the possibility for an individual to buy a relatively inexpensive small vehicle ("family car").  Therefore, the advise to make high-speed unibuses with a capacity like a train and a tram is not to me (and not to Ford: his shareholders even sued him for the "wrong" chosen vector of development against the background of rapidly developing railways). We will have, though, multi-seat public unibuses of larger capacity for long distance trips on the main tracks with sleeping places and toilets, with a shower, like minibuses and coaches on autobahns today.  Secondly, SkyWay is a trestle transport.  And the cost of any trestle is almost linearly dependent on the value of the design load. What does this mean? For example, in the high-speed Minsk-Moscow string highway project, we minimized the cost of a high-speed flyover to 3 million dollars per kilometer (total cost - 2.1 billion dollars).  But I could not resist the onslaught of our more "advanced savvy sofa experts" and allowed in the project 100-passenger unibuses weighing 50 tons each to travel on the track.  At the same time, the cost of the flyover will increase up to $ 15 million per kilometer (the total cost of the project will cost   $ 8.5 billion more). The payback period of the project will increase from 3 to 15 years, the price of tickets will increase 5-fold and investors will refuse to finance the project.  And where will then those long-awaited dividends be, about which these most "savvy sofa experts" speak all the time from every single device, maybe avoiding only an iron and a water pipe?

Thirdly, since the optimal transport of the future is family-type transport, what is its ultimate capacity (carrying capacity)?  I'll open a small secret:  in fact, the safe interval of traffic in the future will be even less - 0.5 sec, so that there will be one unibus on one flyover span.  And the opinion that this will never happen, can be ignored: in high-speed trains a more dangerous variant of logistics is implemented, as self-propelled carriages follow one another at a distance of 1 m and pass this distance in less than 0.01 sec.  At the same time, there occur mechanical self-oscillations in the train coupling (which will not happen with the electronic coupling), and if in case of even a single wheel pair's derailment, the entire train with hundreds of passengers could be in the cuvette, since there is no anti-derailment system on the railway.  It is easy to calculate that in this case the carrying capacity of SkyWay will exceed 2 million passengers per day.  But this is not a solution to the problem yet: this is the formulation of the task.  General rocket designer Korolyov, was also told by "experts"      (who even put him in jail) that it is not possible to create a reliable control system for a rocket, which stability resembles a pencil, put on its point (and today a rocket itself is quite accurate, because at a distance of 10,000 km can, it can get into the stool). They also stated it is not possible to create a jet engine, the thermal power in the combustion chamber of which is 100 thousand kW per square meter (the most refractory materials burn instantly at such temperature). And do the so-called "experts" know that, for example, a modern fighter with variable geometry of the wing, leaning on the air rather than rails, changes its geometry several times a second under a volatile airflow, and if the electronics fails, the airplane will fall apart in the air, since its speed is many times more than that of a unibus?

Fourthly, how dangerous is the interval of 0.5 seconds, or the distance of 69.4 m?  Suppose the incredible: a unibus's one wheel fell off and the vehcile leaned on a special ski, that is, skidded on the rail in one of the four pivot points.  With a friction coefficient of 0.2, the unibus will start emergency braking with an acceleration of 0.5 m/s in the square.  The situation could be corrected by giving more power to the other 3 wheels, but suppose the electronics did not work (there are many examples in history when the locomotive pulled carriages with jammed wheel pairs).  The unibus, travelling in front, will start moving away, and the unibus, travelling behind will start approaching up to the collision, if no managerial decisions are made.  And how long will it take before the collision with a relative speed of 30 km/h?  The answer can be found in the textbook of school physics - 16.7 seconds.  Then what kind of control system of the complex is it, which will remain idle for 16.7 seconds?  There are a few options for action though:  1)a command to the remaining three wheels is given to increase their power, and the fail-safe unibus continues to move at a speed of 500 km/h; 2) a command for braking is given to the behind travelling unibuses with an acceleration of 0.5 m per second in the square; 3) the behind approaching unibus draws close to the fail-safe one and, at the last 10-15 meters of approach, is braked to zero relative speed, automatically docking to it (a spaceship in orbit is similarly docked at a speed of 28 thousand km/h) and pushes the fail-safe module, again accelerating it from 470 to 500 km/h. 

Fifthly, the entire logistics of traffic on the track with an interval of the same 0.5 sec has been developed.  When getting on a vehicle at the station, like in the subway, in 25-30 seconds, and not in 0.5 seconds, as marginals think.  There will be just a few platforms, where there will be trains from several dozen of unibuses, mechanically coupled, and  they will leave the station still coupled, and will separate each other on the track to couple again at the terminal station (this resembles playing on the accordion, where the bellows stretch and then constrict). And all the vehicles do not need to stop at every pillar. The vehicles, with a sign "To Smolensk" will  head to Smolensk every 10 minutes, according to their time-table, being directed to Smolensk by a switch (with a safety interval of about 30 seconds).

But these are records. Let us come back to the realities.  Passenger traffic on the insanely expensive high-speed railway Moscow-Kazan, which is planned for construction, is estimated at a maximum of 20 thousand passengers per day in total in both directions (like on analogous railway route Moscow-St. Petersburg), or one passenger in 8.6 seconds in one direction.  Thus, the movement interval for 6 local family unibuses will be 52 seconds.  Instead, maybe it is better to build the SkyWay track here, not the Chinese railway, which is several times more expensive and with its several times more expensive travel fare, with its rumbling heavy multi-seat trains ready to ram any obstacle, even a bus with children, stuck at the crossing; that heavy train, running on the "first level" on the earth embankment, which is a low-pressure dam,cutting the sources of the rivers, disrupting the movement of surface and groundwater, cutting the agricultural lands and the migration routes of animals, both wild and domestic?"

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