Record-breaking Transports

An Airbus A380 getting ready for landing in Gandhi Airport in New Delhi, one of the few where it can actually do so. (Piyal Bhattacharjee)

Thanks to technological advances, vehicles get further and further, consume less and are able to transport more people

1The electric car with greater autonomy

TESLA is revolutionizing the automotive world with its electric cars, which travel long distances without having to plug them

The autonomy of a vehicle depends on the distance it can travel without refueling. It is an important fact because, logically, a means of transport is better if its autonomy is greater.

If there are still so many cars with a petrol engine, it is, among other things, because up until today electric vehicles did not have much autonomy, since their batteries would run out relatively quickly.

However, that is starting to change: recently, the Tesla Model S P100D managed to travel more than 900 kilometers without having to recharge its battery. It is a record with respect to the usual autonomy of electric cars, which is between 350 and something over 500 km.

Thanks to brands like these, we are getting closer and closer to the electric car replacing the petrol one.

2A giant in the sky

The Antonov An225 is the larges cargo plane in the world: it measures 84 meters long and 88 meters in span (the distance from end to end of its wings). It’s so big, there’s only one!

This aircraft was designed during the 1980s for space shuttles: at that time, the United States and the Soviet Union competed to see who could make it to the stars quicker. The capacity of the Antonov An225 is so great that it could carry up to 50 cars inside, although it reaches a limited speed for an airplane: 850 km / h.

With the fall of the Soviet Union, the airplane stopped being used in 1994. However, since 2001 it is again up and running with very a different purpose: the An 225 is used to bring humanitarian aid to places affected by natural disasters, such as the earthquake of Haiti in 2010 or the 2011 Japan tsunami.

3Half car, half bike, full efficiency

The Velomobile is as efficient (“vélo” in French) as comfortable as automobiles.

The efficiency of a means of transport is measured by taking into account the amount of energy it needs to travel a distance. The vélomobile, a kind of hybrid between a car and an electric bicycle, has no rival in that regard.

Imagine a bicycle, or rather a tricycle, with a small electric engine and inside it a stylized body like that of a missile. The result is this curious gadget with enough of an engine and an aerodynamic shape that allow it to move with very little effort.

The max speed that some prototypes have reached is 144 km / h and is estimated to be 80 times more efficient than an electric car.

4The world’s largest comercial aircraft

An Airbus A380 getting ready for landing in Gandhi Airport in New Delhi, one of the few where it can actually do so. (Piyal Bhattacharjee)

Compared to the Antonov, the Airbus A380 looks like its little brother, but do not be fooled by appearances. The A380 measures 73 meters in length, 80 in span and reaches a much higher speed: it exceeds 1,000 km / h.

Also, the Airbus company’s giant has another merit: it is the largest commercial aircraft in the world. The A380 can carry 544 passengers (distributed in two floors) and up to 3,000 suitcases.

But being so big also has its drawbacks: there are only 20 airports around the world with airstrips long enough to accommodate it. In addition, fuel consumption and maintenance costs are considerable, which is why many airlines prefer smaller aircraft.

5A ship beyond the Solar system

The space probe Voyager was launched 40 years ago into space in search of alien life. (AFP)

Currently, this ship is 20,606 million kilometers away from our planet and is on its way to the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. In its journey, this probe has left fascinating images of Jupiter and has allowed us to discover for the first time volcanic activity outside Earth, for example.

We could consider the Voyager 1 a message in a space bottle since it contains information about us if it ever happens to be found by aliens

6The first drone to carry humans

A Chinese company has developed a drone able to carry humans, something that would reduce traffic jams as well as pollution in cities. (AFP)

Drones have been gaining presence in our lives. At first, these remote-controlled aerial devices were developed for military purposes. To this day, many people have one and use it in their free time. Most of its fans have even created drone flight associations and organize races and championships.

Some professionals use them to get stunning images from impossible angles. And there are companies, such as Amazon, that are even thinking of using them to deliver packages.

It seems that the next step will not take long to come: drones as a means of transport for people. The Chinese company EHang has developed a model large enough to transport a person at a speed of up to 160 km / h. It has 30min autonomy and is driven autonomously, of course.

7A bullet-speed train

The ‘Maglev’ train that runs on magnetic levitation breaks once again its own speed record in Japan. (AFP / JIJI PRESS)

China has the largest high-speed rail network in the world, so it’s no wonder that the fastest train in the world can also be found there.

Shangai’s ‘maglev’ train holds the speed record, reaching 430 km / h. Unlike trains driven by electric current, magnetic levitation trains (maglev) use magnets to float and glide at full speed.

But the Shanghai train could soon be beaten. Japan’s ‘maglev’ train, which is still being tested, has already broken the world speed record by reaching 600 km / h.

Translated by Chaplin’s Languages | Find out more in Junior Report


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