World's fastest elevator hits 47 mph

World's fastest elevator hits 47 mph
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The CTF Finance Centre in Guangzhou where Hitachi's ultra-high-speed elevator has reached 1,260 m/min
The CTF Finance Centre in Guangzhou where Hitachi's ultra-high-speed elevator has reached 1,260 m/min

As landmark skyscrapers grow ever higher, getting from the bottom to the top in a timely fashion becomes more of a problem. But there's little time wasted in Hitachi's ultra-high-speed elevator, which has just been confirmed as the world's fastest, reaching 1,260 m/min (76 km/h or 47 mph) during independent testing in Guangzhou.

Two examples of this new ultra-high speed elevator will be installed in the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in Guangzhou, China. Although they already have a rated top speed of 1,200 m/min (44.7 mph or 72 km/h) and cover the 440 m (1,443 ft) between the ground and 95th floors in around 43 seconds, Hitachi engineers decided there was room to unlock even more performance.

Having fitted modified control units and safety devices, Hitachi handed its speediest elevator over to the (catchily named) National Elevator Quality Supervision and Inspection Centre, where testers confirmed a blistering 1,260 m/min. When it finally goes into service in the CTF Finance building, the elevator will be dialled back to its rated 1,200 m/min top speed.

Hitachi has achieved such an impressive top speed by using a permanent magnet synchronous motor, stronger main ropes and a compact control unit capable of handling the demands of super-high speed elevator travel. Stopping is probably more important than accelerating, so the elevator is fitted with brakes that have a high heat resistance to handle emergency stops. The elevator is also equipped with with Hitachi's air pressure adjustment technology to help combat ear popping.

Hitachi says it will use the high-speed elevator test to aid in the development of future models.

Source: Hitachi

1,200m/min is roughly 38% of terminal velocity in a free fall with air resistance.
I think only the accelerations would be the issue. Once it settles in to its max speed, and is no longer accelerating or decelerating, the riders would be experiencing the normal 1G.
Bob Flint
The speed going up is the record breaker, surely there have been accidents in which down approaches terminal velocity.
Derek Howe
I've seen plenty of Chinese elevator videos...nearly all of them achieve "terminal velocity".