Bullet train in the sky? China to unveil world's fastest elevator in Shanghai

It will be so fast it could be one of those gut-gripping, blackout-inducing rides at an amusement park.  Instead, it is the latest in elevator technology and will used by thousands of people every day.   

China is currently building the world's tallest skyscraper.  The Shanghai Tower will stand 2,073 feet high.  To shuttle passengers to the sky, Mitsubishi has the contract to build 106 aerodynamic elevators unlike anything the world has ever seen.

Consider the fact that the elevators in the World Trade Center, which helped carry hundreds to safety on 9/11, traveled at 1,600 feet per minute according to the engineer who installed them.  The Mitsubishi elevators will travel at a rate of 3,281 feet per minute, more than twice as fast as those at the World Trade Center.  Plus, no need to stop at a sky lobby to break up the trip.  The Mitsubishi design team is promising a comfortable ride from the bottom to the top in one go.  

How do they do it?  Ultra-high-speed elevators require the latest technology in both mechanics and personal comfort. 

Mitsubishi released data on drive, controllability, super high-rise cable mechanics and safety.  I stopped reading when phrases like "advanced plunger" and "exceptional shock absorption" came into play.  What I wanted to know is whether I will see my lunch somewhere around the 50 th floor or feel my eardrums explode.  Mitsubishi says that inside each car the air pressure will be controlled to avoid erupting earaches due to rapid changes in altitude.  Each car's interior will be insulated to quell sound and suitably equipped to reduce vibration.  Still, one wonders whether that kind of trip might upset the average tummy.  And then?  Mitsubishi isn't saying whether they will provide the handy little bags that come in the front pocket of your seat of an airplane, but it might be a good idea.

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