THE GREAT ADVANCE
by Zane Hunker
How will the future move us? Many people take for granted how much the consequence of hardship has motivated great advances in transportation. Blisters on the feet of early man walking many miles a day necessitated the invention of shoes. The filth of horse manure on city streets created a need for electric streetcars. Our current transportation situation involving crumbling, decades old infrastructure along with environmental and energy concerns, all without enough public funding for known solutions might sound frightening at first. We must consider how innovation might offer the breakthrough solution that shatters the current paradigm. Imagination gives birth to the great advance.
Table of Contents 3-6 Cars 7-10 Trains 11-14 Airplanes 15-18 Ships 19-22 Space
Technology and materials will allow driverless electric cars to travel hundreds of miles at more than a hundred miles per hour. Roadways will also integrate composites into their structures making them stronger and cheaper to build.
TGA 101 5
Specs: Weight: 600 lbs (empty) Propulsion: 2 electric motors Passengers: 5 Range: 300 miles Top Speed: 150 mph
Trains To become faster and more efficient, trains
of the future will glide on magnets inside vacuum sealed tubes underground on straight, flat trajectories. With no friction or wind resistance these vehicles will travel at hypersonic speeds replacing airplanes on long distance land routes. Although this system will be very expensive to build, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s substantial speed, capacity and energy efficiency advantages over airplanes and cars make it a smart investment.
TGA 102 9
Specs: Weight: 200 tons
Propulsion: linear motors embedded in the track Passengers: 1,000 per 10 car train Range: unlimited Top Speed: 5,000 mph
With innovation in aerodynamics and weight saving composites, tomorrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s airplanes will float like feathers and still fly like bullets. These advances will allow clean, efficient, high speed electric motors to propel these aircraft to slightly less than the jet speeds we know today. Their range and speed will be compromised for the lack of petroleum and consequently, the good of mother earth.
TGA 103 13
Weight: 20 tons Propulsion: 4 electric motors driving coaxial propeller shafts arranged in tandem pairs inside each 2 nacelles Passengers: 100 Range: 4,000 miles Top Speed: 400 mph
As electric airplanes struggle to match the globe spanning range of their fuel thirsty predecessors, a certain type of vehicle will gain a foothold in long distance trans-oceanic transportation. A WIG or, (”Wing In Ground”Effect Craft) flies low over water having the efficiency and capacity of a ship with the speed and low drag of an airplane. In the 1960’s the Soviet Union experimented with these vehicles which they called Ekranoplans.
Weight: 25 tons Propulsion: 4 electric motors driving co-axial propeller shafts arranged in tandem pairs inside each 2 nacelles mounted behind the nose Passengers: 100 Range: 8,000 miles Top Speed: 300 mph
TGA 104 17
Space Today’s manned spaceships are still only coastal craft plying the shores of earth’s orbit. To be able to sustain crews for years of travel, portable ecosystems will be built into future long range spacecraft. These vehicles will be assembled on the moon so that the hurdles of escaping earth’s gravity won’t limit their size. The aim is to discover new worlds in search of the keys to unlock the next great advance.
Specs: Weight: 50,000 tons
Propulsion: 6 nuclear photonic rocket motors (3 in each of 2 pods) Crew: 250 Range: 24,528,000,000 miles Top Speed: 80,000 mph