15.0 Vehicle Maintenance Considerations:

15.1Technical Inspections:

HPR compliant vehicles will be required to pass technical inspections (ATech Inspections@) every time a vehicle enters onto the Grid Approach Rail by way of communications between a vehicle=s sensors and the main Grid computer. Vehicles may not be modified or damaged as they may operate as closely as a few inches apart at high speeds and cannot have loose bumpers, protruding dents or other hazards.

15.2Retirement of Timed-Out Components:

While aircraft have strict life time limits for many parts such as turbine blades and hoses (known as Life-Limited Components") and require extremely detailed documentation as to replacement dates and servicing facilities, Grid vehicles will be less documented but equally protected from overworked components. Within the Grid vehicle will be a computer which will record each Life-Limited Part=s usage and know when it requires replacement (or is timed out@). A panel on a Grid vehicle's dash will show the time remaining on Life-Limited Components at any given time. A vehicle which enters the Grid Approach Rail with any timed-out parts will be rejected and Booted before reaching the Main Grid Lane.

15.3Thrust Plate:

The most important component of a Grid compliant vehicle will be the vehicle=s Thrust Plate (see Section 11.7 Wear Surfaces@) which carries the weight of a Grid vehicle when in transit. The Thrust Plate, with its series of small solid wheels made of plastic or rubber will require replacement at twenty five thousand (25,000) mile intervals reaching fifty-thousand (50,000) mile intervals within a few years of development. Normal items such as brake linings and ball joints will require replacement much less frequently than in todays cars. In the design phase, a mechanism which allows for quick removal of one Thrust Plate, and installation of another, is of critical importance. These plates will be interchangeable in about the same amount of time as a typical oil change or tire replacement, and will be mass produced to a single design and dimension to take advantage of manufacturing economies. To keep costs low, thrust Plates will be replaced through an exchange program and rebuilt by various certified shops located at convenient locations.

15.4Electric Motor Replacement:

Changing of electric motor/generators will be more involved, however, water cooling may be incorporated to cool windings and lengthen service life at high speeds. Power may switch back and forth between front and rear motor/generators to further avoid sustained high temperatures. Temperature monitors will advise the operator and Grid control in the event of Ahot@ motors and the vehicle will be automatically slowed, disconnected from other vehicles and Booted at the next exit.

15.5Little Remaining Maintenance Expense:

A Grid vehicle will require little other maintenance expense as there will be no oil to change, and relatively few moving parts. Grid vehicle repair facilities will be located at vehicle dealers as well as Grid Approach Lanes and Departure Lanes.