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28 July 2018


Interview of the SkyWay General designer on the eve of EcoFest-2018

The engineer told about what the project approaches to the milestone event with, what visitors will learn and see, how the status of the first projects is. He described the course of negotiations with major partners and much more. Among the highlights of Anatoly Yunitsky's speech, we can point out a message on the possible intensification of work to create transport systems based on SkyWay, capable of accelerating to 1,250 km/h speed, and also the information that the construction of a high-speed complex is likely to be carried out outside Belarus, where SkyWay EcoTechnoPark is located.

In addition, the interview contains a series of general reflections on the market, competition and business ability to guess the viable trends in technology development. The final of the video not only tells, but also partially shows a few new products implemented within the framework of the SkyWay project. Among them, it seems, there is a drone with the presumable carrying capacity of 1.5 tons.

Translation of the video:

Anatoly Yunitskiy: You see, this is an external combustion engine. The so-called Stirling engine. The burners are on fire and heating cylinders. The air is heated and it starts to work. But this engine is noisy and it has large dimensions in practice and low efficiency factor, therefore we shall not use it for the unibus, though it is easy to control it. You just light it up and then blow on it and it stops.

Mikhail Kirichenko: So, we shall not see it at EcoFest?

A.Y.: Unfortunately, no. Only on my table as a toy.

M.K.: It's a pity. However, speaking seriously we can really discuss what awaits us all in the near future.

A.Y.: Certainly. Let's talk seriously.

M.K.: So, Anatoly, little time is left until EcoFest. What do we, investors and developers, have approaching this stage?

A.Y.: Well, we have a product already. It is manufactured. Although, we can say it is a certain version. But we have certificates. However, we have an unfinished cargo system. We don't have a complete configuration of the high-speed system yet, though we are making part of its rolling stock to present at InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin in September. It is a high-speed module of family type. And we have something to show to our investors. We are planning to give a ride to 2,100 people. It is a serious challenge to us and we shall cope with it. We will show the operation of our system.

M.K.: Thank you very much. OK. What will be next? Is our Company ready to particular target projects? Will you announce anything in this respect at EcoFest?

A.Y.: We are working on dozens of target projects in many countries around the world. It is a very complicated work. A multi-phase work. It is not reasonable to announce the results beforehand, because we are going out with this very complex product to the market, where there are many competitors, moreover serious competitors. As they say, they are on the alert. They are trying to interfere with our outcome to the market, because many traditional businesses will suffer as a result.

M.K.: In your interview before the exhibition in the UAE, you said you would be able to announce some particular results in the near future, possibly even before EcoFest. Has anything changed?

A.Y.: No, generally nothing has changed, although there are some minor changes, but it doesn't mean it became worse. Really, we have signed an agreement at that exhibition, but we didn't make it public. We have also signed a number of other agreements. We don't disclose them either so far. There are certain reasons for it. We have already received quite a number of some "red flags", you know. They always opposed innovations and they are opposing them now. We are at the third stage of development presently. At first they do not perceive it seriously and do not get it, then they laugh at it, then they start to oppose it, and then we become the winners. Now we are at the third stage: everybody is opposing us. We've got one of such "red flags", when after the exhibition we went to a meeting in Amsterdam, in one of the ports. It is a unique port, the only one in the world where everything is automated including the whole logistics with 20- and 40-foot sea containers. We wanted to conclude an agreement and start to work on port areas including those in such countries as Emirates, India, Indonesia that have ports. We did not keep that visit a secret, and one day before our arrival they have received a letter there. We know from whom, I am not going to disclose it. From unscrupulous competitors. And the host party has abruptly changed their attitude to us. They refused to meet at all. Therefore, we have no agreement with them. No cooperation. How can this situation be changed? Should we go to them and try to explain that we are good and the type they wrote about us is wrong? Events of this kind happened in India, too. When we had a meeting with the Transport Minister, member of the Indian Government, he had already a negative article about SkyWay and General designer Yunitskiy on his table. It was released on the meeting day. That didn't happen by accident. Moreover, let's recall the events in Lithuania, where the Prime Minister controlling the country's economy joined the fight against us. Their President did the same. A criminal case was started. Do you think it was by accident? Of course not. That's why we have to share information very cautiously and carefully, especially that one referring to the management and promotion of the project. We share technical achievements, however, without disclosing know-how. Every technology has its know-how. We can speak about a product without disclosing its secrets. Only a stupid man discloses secrets. Why should we disclose secrets while performing work and entering the market? It is know-how. Partners we meet, places of meetings, subjects of talks, the documents signed. This is a confidential info. I understand everybody is waiting for it. Well, if we want to ruin the business, no problem, I can disclose it all. I can tell and show everything. After that we all can go home. There'll be no business.

M.K.: Thank you. I recalled an Eastern saying: "Speak only when your words are better than silence".

A.Y.: There is another one: "Silence is gold". You should not speak at all times. It is best to prove everything by your actions, not words.

M.K.: That's what we are doing.

A.Y.: Yes. I am not a futurologist, who is dreaming about future and telling that the unibike will fly to the outer space and dive under water and so on. Of course, it will happen later, but it is not the main thing now.

M.K.: I think there will be something even more serious and more impressive.

A.Y.: Undoubtedly. And I think we will not limit ourselves with the things that we show and make. In fact, in the beginning I started to work with a cosmic program SpaceWay. Then I understood that nobody needs it at all. I understand it, other people don't. That's why there was no serious support. Instead there was a fight against me. Even KGB of the USSR fought with me. Later, when the USSR collapsed, I understood that I had to do it myself instead of looking for support. I should have to create a great business to earn billions of dollars. A good, correct and required business, not just buying and selling. Or extracting and selling oil. An innovative business. That was SkyWay. Now we are already showing the results on SkyWay. You can believe already I am not some futurologist who writes fiction stories and novels. SkyWay is working. And it is working in the way I have promised. I was not mistaken as an engineer.

M.K.: It cannot be denied now.

A.Y.: Many people may start to think I am not mistaken on SpaceWay either. Maybe it is really right that the whole civilization is heading to a dead end? And here is the salvation, the way out from the situation.

M.K.: Even Jeff Bezos understood it and expressed his opinion.

A.Y.: Yes, however, he posed the problem, but he didn't give a solution to it. I give the solution how to avoid this dead end.

M.K.: I can guess why he didn't give a solution - because he knows it is already available.

A.Y.: No, he doesn't know. The same as with Elon Mask. He started to promote a vacuum tube, but it was described in my monograph 40 years ago. It was the 1st stage to implement SkyWay through a vacuum tube at first. Then I understood it was very expensive and complicated at that stage of development and it would not be possible to produce its most complex part. Imagine, the Wright brothers would take on the A380 airplane. Would they have made it? Never. Therefore, they have made a light flying machine and created aviation. The same with me. I switched over to simple options for SkyWay program implementation. Now there is a situation when we would be able to pass over to a vacuum tube. And we are working on it, I never stopped that work. I just didn't make it public.

M.K.: We have at least one sensational piece of news today.

A.Y.: But it doesn't mean we spend investor's money on it. No, I finance it. It's my expenses, because investors do not give funds for it. They invest money for the other thing. And we are doing it.

M.K.: I think, when they find out about it...

A.Y.: No, it needs additional financing. God willing, we will finish with this project. Everybody is already asking impatiently: when 10,000% annual revenue? When IPO? When shall I sell my shares worth of 100 USD for USD 1 million? Investors are a bit tired waiting. What can be done, if we had force majeure circumstances? It doesn't depend on me. Though I managed to do more for less funds. Many people arrive to us, walk around the production facility, visit EcoTechnoPark, which was a tank range with pits and wild grass 2.5 years ago, nothing grew there. They see the present beauty and our factory, where there was a printing shop previously. We have bought it, but there was no equipment, nothing there. Just empty walls. We have bought not a work shop, but empty walls. Look, what we have there now. When they go around there, they say, "How did you manage to do it?" They don't understand. But this is done. Why do some people derogate it asking, "Where is that and that? This is all wrong. We do not see anything." Many people say so. The developments and works that I started when many investors were not born yet, were never stopped. Simply there was silence. On a number of reasons. Now we can start to say that we are working and proceeding forward in this direction. We are working over land acquisition for high-speed and hyper-speed (Hyper U) transport with 1250 km/h speed. I can say, most probably it will be not in Belarus, because they have refused to allocate land for our test sites here.

M.K.: Maybe, it is associated with the recent visit of the UAE government members to EcoTechnoPark? Possibly. I don't know. What differed this visit from the other ones that we could highlight something about it?

A.Y.: It is a certain stage of negotiations. I will not disclose their subjects. We agreed that it is possible not to conceal it now. However, we do not say about what we have agreed upon. We do not say with whom in particular we have agreed upon either. There is some vector - somewhere there in the Middle East, Arab countries. You shouldn't limit it to the Emirates. There are many other countries in that region. That's why the visit was caused by the necessity for the other party, our partners, to make sure once again at a high level now that it really meets the highest world standards, that we managed to do it in tight deadlines on an empty area. Without any support and financing in the very beginning. So, provided we have support and adequate financing, we shall do it faster and at a greater volume. That was the reason for the visit: to make sure of the seriousness of intentions and plans, their viability and inevitable implementation. And they will be implemented.

M.K.: Could you give us some details? Perhaps, there are some interests expressed in particular orders. Berlin and InnoTrans are nearing. Can you say anything about it?

A.Y.: Yes, Berlin is soon. We will show our rolling stock in the best design version. Many people don't understand something and even send me angry letters. They are disappointed, because they thought unibuses would be for 300 or 100 passengers and, suddenly, we are delivering a 6-seat high-speed unibus to Berlin. Well, one can say, Ford was wrong, too. Why didn't he make 100- or 300-seat cars? Certainly, he was wrong. Somehow he made 4-seat cars. Obviously there were reasons for that. If he didn't make it, there would be no automobile industry at all. He guessed the trend correctly. The direction of development. Transport must be affordable for everyone. It must be of family type. Everyone or a family should be able to buy it. Will you buy a train? Or a carriage? Do you need it? A 100-seat carriage. For a million dollars. What for?

M.K.: Maybe, to place it somewhere and make a restaurant in it.

A.Y.: How many of them would you buy? There is 1 billion of cars in the world now. One billion! There should be not less unibuses. So, it must be not only for 6 seats, for a family. It must be highly efficient. We have made it. Do you know how much fuel Bugatti with 1500-hp motor spends to reach 430 km/h speed?

M.K.: If I'm not mistaken it burns out the whole fuel tank within 12 minutes.

A.Y.: First, it gets this 430 km/h speed at tail wind and running downhill. Suppose it reaches 500 km/h on a horizontal plane (though there are no cars with this speed). So, during 1-hour operation at such 500 km/h speed it would burn up about 500 liters of fuel. It's a small tank cistern.

M.K.: Right. A tank for 12 minutes.

A.Y.: No, it is at lower speed. A tank will not be enough for it for 3 minutes at such speed. But our unibus has quite a different feature. At 500 km/h speed it is 8 liters of fuel for 100-km distance.

M.K.: And it carries not 2 people like in Bugatti, but 6.

A.Y.: Not 2, but 6. A small table may be put there. It has a large and comfortable compartment. It has a cargo trunk for 1-ton load. It will be a vehicle of a different generation. Just for people. It may also be a public transport, too. Taxi is not with 100 seats either. What's the need for a 100-seat taxi? And this is a 6-seat public transport. Simple calculation shows that it may have 0.5-second safety interval. Even in an emergency situation, when a module running upfront gets a wheel broken, and the interval is only 0.5 second, their closing-in movement will be about 15 seconds. Automatic controls will deploy and no collision will occur. There are no fixed obstacles there as some people think. No concrete blocks to ram into. No obstacles there. Just a moving module ahead. That's why 0.5 second is a safe interval. Speaking about possibilities, 6-seat unibuses will be able to service 2 million passengers per day at this safety interval. 2 million! Normally we do not have such passenger flow. The projects of high-speed railways provide servicing 20 or 30 thousand passengers per day. For example, Moscow - St. Petersburg or Moscow - Kazan. They are not planned for more passenger traffic, because there are not so many stupid people ready to pay sky-high cost to travel that distance. Therefore, I assume that the passenger flow may be really great. Like a cell phone - now everyone has it in a pocket, even 2 or 3 of them. Imagine, you are planning that everybody carries a wire telephone or 2 of them. It is nonsense. That's why we are planning based on the available quantity. When the passenger flow is about 100,000 and additional users appear, the intervals of traffic will be normal. There will be kilometers between unibuses. Imagine a highway, where there are 2 kilometers to the car ahead. No doubt, such highway is safe, isn't it? And they say our version is dangerous. Not at all. This will be the optimal transport. The one I described. This is optimum and we are making it.

M.K.: What of it will be demonstrated at EcoFest? Tell us briefly.

A.Y.: We shall not show the high-speed unibus, otherwise there'll be no intrigue for InnoTrans. We will not show it. We have done many other things, but we cannot show them on a number of reasons, because a bit later they will be exhibited at some other forums. We will show them there, therefore we do not want to demonstrate them ahead of time. We will show the super-lightweight system, which was not planned and lacked funds. We will even show a string bridge, which is under construction now. We have to finish it in time by EcoFest. Bridges can be built in a different design. Both pedestrian, motor-way and railway ones. Lighter, slenderer and less costly ones. Our first bridge will be built and demonstrated there. We will show a drone. Not only a large drone, but also small ones. And many other things that I am not going to speak about so far.

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