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Toshiba trumpets world's fastest lift

Taipei 101 enters the record books

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Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corporation is today somewhat inadvisedly trumpeting the world's fastest elevator in the world's tallest building - a 60.6km per hour express lift in Taipei 101.

The Taiwanese megascraper is now officially the tallest man-made structure anywhere, weighing in at an impressive 508 metres - soaring above Kuala Lumpur's modest 452-metre Petronas Towers. It contains no less than 61 lifts and 50 escalators, including 34 double-deck versions of the latter.

Naturally, you can't hope to operate white-knuckle elevators packed with screaming punters without a few technological breakthroughs. According to the press release, these include:

  • The world’s first pressure control system, which adjusts the atmospheric pressure inside a car by using suction and discharge blowers, preventing those riding inside the car experiencing "ear popping".
  • An active control system which cancels vibrations by moving the counter mass in the opposite direction based on the vibration data from a sensor installed in the car.
  • Optimization in the configuration of the streamlined car to reduce the whistling noise produced by a car running at a high speed inside a narrow hoist-way. This is based on pressure analysis of the atmosphere in the hoistway and on the car surface during operation.

Impressive stuff. What they fail to mention, however, is how the thing performs when dangling from the side of the building by a single cable in the style of The Towering Inferno. We can't help but feel that the input of Irwin Allen, or at least Fred Astaire might have gone some way to convincing users that a 37.7mph lift inside a 1667-ft skyscraper is a desirable concept. As for us, we'll take the stairs, thanks very much. ®

Bootnote

Ta very much to all those outraged Canadian readers who have written to say that in fact the CN Tower is the world's tallest structure at 553.33m (1,815 ft, 5 inches). We're staying out of this one, except to say why can't we all just drop this crowing about our enormous erections and just learn to love each other?

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