Unitsky String Technologies
14 January 2017
Anatoly Yunitskiy: "Everything goes as scheduled"
We offer to your attention an interview with the Chief Designer and the author of SkyWay transport technology Anatoly Yunitskiy that he gave to the Head of the information service of the SkyWay Group of Companies during his working visit to EņoTechnoPark.
During the conversation they discussed the scheduled plans to develop SkyWay technology, anticipated timing for completion of the string transport certification, the current progress in the construction of track sections at EcoTechnoPark, the creation of new models of rolling stock, as well as the immediate prospects for the implementation of targeted projects.
Translation of the video:
Mikhail Kirichenko: Good day! Here is Mikhail Kirichenko. You are watching SkyWay news, where we tell you about the developments and implementation of breakthrough transport technologies. So, it is 10 minutes to 1 p.m. January 11. We are now in SkyWay EcoTechnoPark, where work went on non-stop in spite of severe frosts and holidays. Today we offer the first report of this year from the testing and certification center. Today Anatoly Yunitskiy directly supervises the construction. He was busy from the morning and we waited for him till the lunch break so that our General Designer could spare several minutes of his precious time for us. Dear Anatoly, first of all I congratulate you with the New Year and Christmas. Wish great success in this year to you, our project and, naturally, all our numerous partners. Could you please explain and show what has been done during our absence on air and comment on what is happening here today.
Anatoly Yunitskiy: Thank you for the greetings. I also congratulate you and everyone with the last holidays.
M.K.: Thank you.
A.Y.: We have done quite a lot for the last period. We were not sitting idle though we had New Year holidays. We are standing now at the beginning of the test track in front of our transfer hub - the first anchor support. We see prepared trusses that will be assembled soon. These 12.5 m long truss elements were produced at a factory, in a workshop. Here they are joined in 25 m long sections that will be transported to the place of mounting. They will be assembled there further on a special conductor with millimeter accuracy at a 50 m long span that will be installed on supports. The most complicated thing was not to assemble them, but to produce in the workshop. The basic work to manufacture a rail-string overpass takes place not here, but at the factory. They had to make trusses at great accuracy. The elements of the rolled metal are not always perfect. They have different sizes, they are twisted and so on. It is not easy to produce a perfect truss using these materials. However, we know how to do it using our special technology, including welding. The trusses are special, you can see it by their structure. There are inserted elements of different color there. These are electric insulators. Actually, this truss will be under high voltage with current collectors. At the right and left sides it will have different potentials, therefore, they are electrically insulated from each other, from intermediate supports and the anchor support.
M.K.: Aren't you afraid to disclose these technical details?
A.Y.: You know, I described all of it in one of my monographs, written 30 years ago about this version. It was one of my first versions of the structure. It turned out to be the most operational. Finally, we have chosen this version for the fourth generation, because it is very complicated and expensive to make a new contact rail or contact wire. Why should we do them, if we have rails that can be insulated from each other and from the ground? They can be used for electric power supply. It is more efficient, economical and correct. We are realizing this version here.
M.K.: Thank you very much. Let us walk forward and show how much has been done. As I see, approximately one third of the acceleration urban track is assembled. One more substantial piece is being prepared for mounting.
A.Y.: Yes, there is one more span for mounting here. Some spans are in the workshop. The assembly will continue and we shall finish the whole track by the end of winter.
M.K.: What are the next plans to develop the project? At what phase is project designing of the 16 km route that will transform the acceleration track into a high-speed one?
A.Y.: Designing never stopped and will never stop. Naturally, we are designing the 16 km route. All the conceptual solutions are already available.
M.K.: What about the permit documentation?
A.Y.: We are preparing it, but we cannot go beyond the site. To continue the route there, we need a decree of the Belarusian President. To this moment, the documents have passed expert examination in the Minsk Executive Committee. Soon they will be submitted to the President's Administration to prepare a decree on land allocation. We have received all the approvals from the local authorities and services, including environmental engineers. Now we are waiting for the decree.
M.K.: Thank you. Speaking about the high-speed route and its deadline, what routes are planned for commissioning this year in general and when? It is clear that man proposes, but God disposes. Nevertheless, please share your plans.
A.Y.: Well, the lightweight track is already finished, we are already driving the unibike on it.
M.K.: And what about the higher part?
A.Y.: We are already showing something. Though it is not finished at the end, we are doing it now. Certain testing phases are under way. These are also certification phases.
M.K.: I'll have a separate question on certification.
A.Y.: Then we shall not speak about it so far. As regards the urban track, which is the acceleration section of the high-speed route we are passing by, we shall complete the construction of trusses by spring. We cannot install a unibus on it, because this structure is still discontinuous. We cannot do this whole distance jointless now, because it is not fixed to the anchor supports at the ends. There will be large temperature shifts at the ends and the support will be destroyed. Here after every 3 spans the structure is discontinuous, with a variable gap, therefore a unibus cannot pass on it. However, we can install it and drive on 3 spans. But it will be only 150 meters. What can we show? There is no sense in it.
M.K.: But you were planning to do it.
A.Y.: I was planning, but is it worth doing it now on a part of the track? Just to show it will run? Well, unibike runs and unibus will run.
M.K.: I think nobody has doubts about it.
A.Y.: It will run for sure. But we need the whole track to get the required speed and features, including noise level, acceleration to 100 km/h speed and braking. We shall prepare it by spring. Then we shall add unibuses and carry out comprehensive tests.
M.K.: What are the plans regarding the higher part of the lightweight track?
A.Y.: Well, the track structure is ready. We have purchased high-strength reinforced cables. All the initial components for assembly are available, but a special composite material should be used there. It is not recommended to fill it in freezing temperatures, because it should become hard. Therefore, it is better to wait till it becomes warmer in the beginning of spring and assemble the higher part quickly. By that time we shall prepare reversal circles from both sides and make a complete circular route with a lower part 3 meters above the ground and a higher part 15 meters above the ground. The spans will be 200, 400 and 200 meters long. The route is lightweight. When we stretch cables and fill concrete, most probably in February, we shall reinforce it with external strings to make it possible to use heavier vehicles on it, including a unibus. We shall demonstrate that we can transform it from a lightweight track into a fully-featured urban route for running 3.5-ton unibuses for 14passengers. I indicated the terms for it. As regards this route, the unibus is ready for demonstration. It is a monorail and will run on a single truss. Now we have designed and started manufacturing a double-rail suspended unibus that will run on two trusses. Its capacity will be 28 passengers. Such cabins can be joined to make trains. And we will show not only a single unibus, but also a small train of two cabins with the capacity of 56 passengers. It may be increased to 100, 200 and even 1,000 passengers, because the truss can hold large loads. The train may be several hundred meters long.
M.K.: From one anchor support to another.
A.Y.: Yes, if necessary. Some people ask why not to make it for 1,000 passengers. If it is necessary, we shall make it for 1,000 passengers. However, it is optional. Next, since we have our own production facility in Shabany, we have designed and started manufacturing one more type of rolling stock. It is a pod with 6 seats. And we can also make a composed unibus as a train with these pods. We are planning to make a train of 3 pods. We are going to produce these vehicles by June this year and show it on this track. Therefore, we want to hold EcoFest not in May, as many people say. Now I can announce another date. We shall have it in early June to demonstrate it all together. We will not be able to make it faster. It would be not quite right to gather people just for fun. We have to show them an entire range of functioning rolling stock on the route that will be ready by that time.
M.K.: Thank you very much. I think we shall speak about the cargo track when we approach it. Some interesting elements also appeared there. And now as regards the issues of certification that you mentioned. What is the situation with it? What is the phase of the process in it? Everyone expects it in spring. Shall we cope with it?
A.Y.: Yes. Spring is an elastic term. It may be March or April. Or in the end of February. It is a variable date, because this work is rather complicated. However, we will definitely do it by EcoFest. Our rolling stock will be certified by that time. We are working on it as scheduled. A number of organizations are involved in it. They are Belarusian and Russian ones.
M.K.: A delegation from Moscow visited us.
A.Y.: Yes. They were from the Institute of electric transport under the Russian Ministry of transport. It is the only entity, which certifies urban electric rolling stock - trams, trolley buses, etc. Therefore, they are our assistants in certification. We are doing this work together now. It proceeds as scheduled.
M.K.: Thank you. Well, we have reached the end of the section that has been already assembled. Everyone can clearly see the trusses. It is one third of the whole distance. Is it ready?
A.Y.: It is 300 meters of the total 950 meters. One more truss over there is being prepared, so it will be above one third.
M.K.: I suggest to go to our cargo line now, see it and listen to your comments on the process going on there. In the meantime, I would like to ask questions from our partners. By the way, people are returning from the lunch break. We have to let you go back soon for a more important business.
A.Y.: They have started the machine.
M.K.: Yes, there is more noise now. It's OK, we shall speak louder. Our partners are interested to know the following. Delegations from different countries have already visited EcoTechnoPark: Turkey, Australia, the Philippines, Israel, Canada and many others. Which one is closer to the beginning of targeted projects? Where can we expect the appearance of a real targeted SkyWay project?
A.Y.: This work goes on simultaneously in many countries. The degree of readiness to targeted projects is different there. The present circumstances show that most probably the first country will be India, strange as it may appear.
M.K.: Yes. Everyone is expecting Australia.
A.Y.: No, not Australia. It is a specific country with serious difficulties for entering their market. This country is over-regulated, therefore, it takes much time and efforts to obtain approvals, including environmental ones.
M.K.: Just a minute. Nikita, watch out! There is a crane truck coming from behind you.
A.Y.: Yes, the crane will begin assembling now. Let us free the way for it.
M.K.: We didn't manage to finish the interview during the lunch break. Everything is alright. These are natural conditions. Unfortunately, Nikita does not have machine vision on the back of his head.
A.Y.: And no thermal camera. So, why India?
M.K.: No need for a thermal camera there. It is hot there.
A.Y.: It is also hot in Australia. There is another reason for India. The population of Australia is about 20 million people and that of India is 1 billion 300 million. They have lots of problems, including transport.
M.K.: A great potential for us there.
A.Y.: They have a different approach. They have to solve tasks, not approvals or regulations. Certainly, we shall make it in Australia, too. These issues are settled faster in India. Now we have an agreement to create several Companies there with various groups of Indian businesspersons, who will finance the projects. They have about a dozen of projects for their consideration. Some of them were approved by the Indian Minister of transport and the Governments of various Indian States. Some projects have the payback period of 1.5 year. I am not going to say the names of the cities so far.
M.K.: These are the so-called "smart cities", aren't they?
A.Y.: Including them, too. But, for example, there is also a project for two cities, where the present traffic is 750,000 cars a day. Can you imagine it?
A.Y.: Even if there are 1.5 persons in a car statistically, it is a million per 24 hours. Therefore, they have a need there. It is a challenging problem. If we build a SkyWay route there, say, 500,000 people will travel by it per day. For example, the fare for each one will be 4 dollars. It is easy to calculate the income. It will be above 100 million dollars per year.
M.K.: Congratulations to all our partners and us.
A.Y.: The payback will be very fast. It makes sense to invest in it. There are several projects like this in India. We are expecting here an Indian delegation soon to discuss with them details of this cooperation and projects. We also continue to work actively with the Arab Emirates, in particular, with Dubai. There is a high interest there. After the demonstration of the unibike in late November last year, it became even higher.
M.K.: Shall we go this way?
A.Y.: Yes, let's go. We are also expecting a delegation from the Emirates. Sheiks openly say they want to have a Center of SkyWay technologies there. They are ready to finance it. A possible type of cooperation is the construction of EcoTechnoParks or their parts abroad in various countries. We have agreed with two groups of Indian partners to build testing tracks in India to demonstrate the benefits of our system in their climatic conditions. They have other temperatures and humidity. Other requirements to ergonomics. Finally, other culture. Therefore, we have to do it in the way the customers and buyers need. We can do the same in the Emirates. You see, we can do it in India for the Asian region and in the Emirates - for the Arab region with their specific features. For instance, men and women cannot travel in the same pod, therefore, we need to do either a train of two pods (one for men, another for women) or separate unibuses. We have to show it.
M.K.: I was in Dubai subway and saw there carriages separated into two parts with a stripe. If you go to the women's part, you will be fined for 30 dollars.
A.Y.: We have to show these things and design rolling stock with the account for these specifics. So, now we have some priorities in addition to Australia. Naturally, we continue to work with Australia in this direction. And now India appeared. The Emirates appeared, though I have been cooperating with the Emirates for about 15 years.
M.K.: Speaking about India, all our partners have a question. They heard in one report on the Periscope that they want to make you some sort of a Hero of India. Please make cleared all doubts and speculations on this issue.
A.Y.: I had such a conversation. I will not disclose the names of the partners. It is too early so far. In one of the talks with these serious Indian businesspersons, which is a family with their Company's capitalization amounting to 5 billion dollars, one of them unexpectedly said that he had already spoken with the Head of the leading party in India and offered him to get armed with the SkyWay program as a political program. It can change and raise the Indian economy, help to solve demographic problems of India, because they need hundreds thousand kilometers of string routes. He also offered to make the SkyWay author a National Hero. Yes, there was such a talk. I was surprised to hear it. Nevertheless, it was said so.
M.K.: Firstly, I congratulate you and, secondly, I express the hope that before making you a National Hero he will become your strategic partner. Then all the financial problems will be settled on the way to the title of the Hero of India.
A.Y.: Of course. And our policy everywhere is to have the controlling stake with us. In India we shall create Companies, where the controlling stake will belong to us. It will be more difficult with the Arabs, because they insist on having 51% with them. It is not quite acceptable for us, therefore, we shall have uneasy talks with them. In general, we have similar talks with a dozen of countries.
M.K.: Again I wish you and us success on this path. I hope that in 2017 something will concretize, some agreements will be signed.
A.Y.: I can assure you we shall have dozens of such agreements.
M.K.: In 2017?
A.Y.: Certainly. Dozens. I have all the information, I conduct these negotiations. I organize them, I know what is happening. It is simply too early to speak about it. We should speak about the results. The process goes on very actively and productively.
M.K.: Thank you. By the way, we have come to the cargo route. What kind of a metal monster is standing here? It looks like a war elephant of aliens from "Star wars". And again, the same question on the deadline for commissioning the cargo route.
A.Y.: This monster is called the anchor support. In fact, it is a lightweight, slim and slender structure. Yes, it looks like it came from some other planet. By the way, it is designed for 500 tons of horizontal load.
M.K.: It is half from the anchor support on the high-speed route, isn't it?
A.Y.: Yes, but it is designed for 10 railway cars. Imagine them suspended on the track and the load that goes on this support. We shall have a section of several spans with trusses that will demonstrate two cargo transport systems. An elevated flyover with uninterrupted supply of bulk cargo like on an industrial conveyor. For example, crushed rock, coal, gravel, sand...
M.K.: Gold, diamonds.
A.Y.: Much of it will be needed. 200 million tons per year, though diamonds or gold would not be bad for loading it. It's a good idea. Imagine how rich we will become with our investors if we transport 200 million tons of gold or diamonds per year. It is a super idea. Actually, it is the productive capacity of two main Trans-Siberian railways. It is designed for two lines. The lower line below will have cargo unitrucks that will transport up to 100 million tons per year by single modules. This volume is possible, though the capacity of a single module will not be large - from 1 to 5 tons. No point to make it more. This system will be also demonstrated here. Farther we shall have reversal circles. Loading will be on-the-run. And over there we shall have unloading on-the-run.
M.K.: I can see the second anchor support there.
A.Y.: It is also installed. There will be reversal circles behind it and we shall demonstrate the whole operation of the system in loading and unloading on-the-run.
M.K.: When is it planned for completion?
A.Y.: The thing is that the so-called "wet works" cannot be done under frosty conditions. Many people do not know that concrete producing plants are closed in winter frosts in Belarus. They cannot produce concrete during frosts. It cannot be laid at this temperature.
M.K.: But you were producing trusses at the factory.
A.Y.: Yes, we worked with metal structures. Concreting should be done during a warm period, at least not at subzero temperature. Therefore, we shall start "wet works" with concrete in spring. And now we are producing metal structures for it: trusses and steel supports. Then we shall start their installation. We are planning to complete this line by EcoFest, by summer. A unitruck will run here in an automated duty by that time. It will show how bulk cargo can be transported.
M.K.: Thank you very much. And to finish our report, perhaps, you would like to tell something more about the plans for this year, but I didn't ask about it.
A.Y.: It is better to speak less about plans. If you want to make the God laugh, tell him about your plans, because plans may be like the ones for building communism:The whole country was building it and it finally collapsed. Those plans turned out to be unrealizable. Certainly, we have our plans, we are moving forward according to the stages. There 15 of them and the whole Company and I are doing our best to follow that schedule. These are the basic plans and we are working according to them. 15 stages.
M.K.: You have already passed over the half of them.
A.Y.: Yes, we are at stage 8, which is aimed at the arrangement of works, not at financing. The thing is we have not overcome even 10% level in financing. We can compare plans with a construction of a house. If you have no money to buy cement or bricks, no money to pay the workers, how can you build a house? Though you have your plans. As regards the plans for financing, we do not deal with them. It is not our work to attract investment. We are an executive team, we demonstrate the technology, we are developers. Other people and foundations finance us. They should perform this function. So, we have a serious underfunding. Despite of it you can see how much we are doing and we have done. Due to it, sometimes we have to change plans in the process of work. If we lack money for concrete or reinforcement, we can replace them with something else. That's why we have to change some structures, to make less costly versions. They are a bit worse, but it does not affect the quality of the technology and its demonstration aspect. To show that a car is operational, Ford used a cart. It rode 200 meters and got broken. However, he showed that the car works. Of course, now, 100 years after, Ford cars are different. Therefore, naturally it is most important for us to show feasibility of the technology, its consumer appeal, its advantages over the other technologies, including economic efficiency, construction cost, energy efficiency, environmental benefits, etc. We demonstrate it. We work on the basis of the budget that is actually available. Not the one that we have fancied. Nevertheless, I am confident we will do everything as scheduled.
M.K.: Thank you. I think we have already shown many things confirming the technical feasibility, because we are acknowledged by the Russian Transport Ministry, Belarusian Academy of Sciences and several regional subdivisions of the Russian Academy of Sciences. They are cooperating with us and waiting for our technologies with anticipation. I know we are now actively working with the Belarusian Academy of Sciences on the ecological aspect. I want to point out for our audience that in spite of the funding shortage, the work goes on at the cargo, lightweight and urban tracks. However, basic funding will be needed for the 16 km route, therefore, we shall not manage there without additional involvement of foundations and financing.
A.Y.: Right, we shall need about USD 200 million for those 16 km. It is not only construction, it is the work of 200 designers. It is also payment for the office, manufacture of the rolling stock, designing and production of an automated control system. We shall not simply build a route and show a unibus there. We shall create a complex. A considerable part of finances will be needed for the employees. How can you do it without people? In fact, dozens of thousand people carry out such tasks, not 100-200 employees. It is simply incredible to do such work as here with such a small number of people. When I tell the other people about it, they do not believe me.
M.K.: Our partners and we believe it.
A.Y.: Like the Vice-President of Siemens did not believe we have made a commercial sample within such a short period. They do not believe, because 300,000 people work at Siemens. Just compare their budget and our funds. Therefore, I would not use the word "underfunding". We have underfunding in comparison to what we have drawn in our plans. And we are working based on what we really have. There is some actual financing, we work with it. And it proceeds the way we need. We work with what the God gave us. It is all right and normal. In general, you can look at it in a different way. Everything goes as scheduled and planned. We have 100% funding needed for it.
M.K.: Thank you very much for you comprehensive report, almost a monologue with my rare suggestive questions.
A.Y.: It was nice about the diamonds.
M.K.: Thank you. Support our project. Sign up to our YouTube channel. Stay tuned for the news update on the official website of the International SkyWay Group of Companies at rsw-systems.com. And for the first time I am going to finish my report not with some phrase of my own, but with a citation from the movie "Moscow does not believe in tears": "Don't teach me to live, better help me with funds".
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