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When it comes to an elevator, there comes a time when it seems practical to say, "That's fast enough thank you!" The engineers at the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation did not let speed restrictions get in their way however, as they can now claim to be the designers of the world's fastest elevator in the Shanghai Tower, China. Travelling at 18 meters (59 feet) per second, the Shanghai Tower will be China's tallest building and the second tallest in the world, second only to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. However, China's supertall skyscraper will claim much faster elevator speeds.
Mitsubishi explained that a smooth ride is ensured by an innovative new active roller guide. This will reduce vibration from the guide rails and resistance from wind, creating a very comfortable ride for passengers at ultra-high speeds. The interior of the elevator is also very quiet, thanks to a streamlined aerodynamic car cover and a high sound insulation cage. To prevent pressure in the ears, Mitsubishi has come up with the solution that controls air pressure inside the elevators, eliminating discomfort caused by the rapid change in altitude.
The Shanghai Tower jets 2,073 feet into the air (128 floors), served by 106 elevators. The elevators travel 1,080 meters-per-minute -just over 40 mph! Khalifa's elevators, by comparison, move at 700 meters a minute, or just about 26 mph.