Predictions are risky at the best of times, to imagine One Hundred Years into the future of the Isle of Man TT, that is a huge call. I have a reasonable knowledge of the first One Hundred Years, however that does not really help. Let's just try to imagine the Isle of Man in the twenty second century and accept the fact that the TT has survived all the knockers and flourished, as it must, keeping pace with and in many instances displaying new technologies for the first time.
Getting to the TT: Throughout the twentieth century and a good part of the twenty first century all 'off shore' TT spectators could only choose between air and ferry links to the Island, rumours of a 'tunnel' persisted for some thirty years. In 2070 underwater tunnels were finally opened, linking the Island to both Dublin and Liverpool. Overnight the five ferry service providers lost their annual TT peak patronage, most of the providers looked for other viable routes whilst two companies increased their ever popular ferry tours of the Island's high technology coastline.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Electric Vehicles are the only form of transport allowed on the tunnels consumer vehicle lanes and the tunnels train system utilises Magnetic Levitation (Mag Lev) technology with the Island Station located at the rear of the extensively remodelled Villa Marina Complex. The transport of any type of combustible liquid fuels is strictly prohibited in the tunnel. Petrol and diesel powered motorcycles and cars, (transportable for show and private collection purposes only), are rigorously inspected to ensure all fuel tanks, sumps, radiators and brake lines are devoid of all fluids, prior to allowing transport through the tunnels.
Racing Vehicles: All TT Classes are Hover Vehicles incorporating highly efficient Fuel Cell Electrical Generators which power Mag Lev repellers, allowing nominally 600kmh straight line performance and tilt angles exceeding seventy degrees. Riders are protected by fully enveloping closed fairings which incorporate full body coverage air bag protection and real time monitoring of the rider's medical condition.
The technology offers the dream of effectively unlimited power within the confines of the tight Circuit and elimination of effectively all noise and pollution. Looking back, circa 2009, the inaugural TTXGP was a distant hint of the future here.
Classes of Racing: Classes include Moto1, Moto2, Moto3 etc, all to define the output performance of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell, (HFC) Engines. Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the known universe, in its gaseous form, provides the 'fuel' to produce 'on board' electrical energy to power the vast majority of the world's consumer, transport and competitive vehicle fleets. Moto1 includes Hover Vehicles with an output equivalent to a 500kW Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) of the 20th century, Moto2 300kW and Moto3 100kW.
In fact the racing technology reflects the use of hydrogen as the fuel of choice across the Isle of Man, eliminating the use of fuel oil and waste products for the generation of electricity. All vehicles in use on the Island for over seventy years mirroring the rest of the world, being either true HFC or Electric Rechargeables.
It is worth noting that the Island Government were amongst the first to install Electrical Recharge Stations for consumer vehicles, old records show one of the first installations of these was in a long forgotten car park adjacent the then Castletown Square, the car park was removed in 2038 to make more of the coastline available for solar, wind and wave electricity generation. NB: Wind and wave generation equipment was removed some years later when hydrogen became the main fuel of choice for electricity generation, solar generation continues to this day as an adjunct to hydrogen.
The TT Course: Huge changes have taken place in the Isle of Man, the original Snaefell Mountain Course, like all other roads throughout the Island has been completely recontoured, super conductive magnet arrays installed, solar panels embedded and the surface sealed with impervious materials designed to be resistant to the extreme heat experienced in the period 2080 to 2093, (records indicated maximum temperatures during TT fortnights in these years reached 57 degrees C at the McGuinness Centre), the materials are also expected to be resistant to the anticipated frozen cover of the predicted 2147 mini Ice Age.
Rumours of an FIM approved MotoGP circuit persisted as far back as the late twentieth century, however it took the Isle of Man Government some fifty years to mandate a new Circuit, reclaiming valuable farming and solar power station land in the process. A further five years elapsed before the world's first FIM sanctioned Mag Lev Circuit (MLC) was completed. Early twenty first century competitors and spectators would certainly recognise the TT-MLC as a race circuit in terms of scale and the race track layout, however close inspection would reveal a full Magnetic Levitation facility, the surface offering virtually no traction, suitable only for Mag Lev vehicles. Another curious item would be the regular 'on circuit' drainage slots and embedded de-icing technology allowing Mag Lev racing to continue in most extremes of weather.
The edges of the circuit are fully monitored with instant detection of any errant racer crossing the edge strips. Detection instantly triggers alarms, identifies the Rider and activates their on board physical and mental health monitors, all to assist recovery. All run off areas are heavily padded with additional fixed air bag protection activated on impact, all designed to protect both rider and machine.
Full video coverage with 360 degree ultra high resolution digital video camera technology is permanently installed on each Mag Lev Moto Racer, front and rear. Incredibly, similar camera technology is permanently embedded at intervals of 1000mm along both sides of the circuit edge with multi channel fibre optic feeds for racing coverage, medical and rescue purposes. All digital cameras AV feeds are streamed in real time to the Circuit master computer for real time interfacing to the Spectator's TT-MLeMOTO facilities.
Spectator Facilities: Spectators have been attending the Island's TT Races since 1907, enduring the extremes of weather, damaging noise levels of ICE motorcycles and inhaling the carcinogenic fumes that ICE machines produced. The spectators of 2107 are provided with purpose built viewing buildings, fully air conditioned with 360 degree views of the circuit. No spectator is allowed within ten metres of the circuit and alarms will detect and monitor any errant persons and identify them by facial scan and ticket coding.
Those early TT spectators could only dream of the active participation offered to today's TT fans. Each Spectator's seat is equipped with a fold out, real time ultra high definition 'curved' LED video display offering fully integrated control of their own electronically generated MLeMoto Racer, allowing them to 'compete' in real time against the actual race participants. The TT-MLeMOTO game is controlled by the Circuit master computer with instantaneous full 3D rendering of actual Moto Racers and all participating Spectator's MLeMoto Racers. Many races witness some fifty actual MAG LEV Competitors 'competing' for prize money and winners laurels against over five hundred (500) spectators holographic MLeMoto Racers .
Although Mag Lev Moto Racers are effectively silent, each Spectator can if they wish, wear a lightweight headset incorporating both HUD and Audio streaming, the extent of the audio component is staggering, each spectator can select the 'simulated sound' of each MAG LEV Competitor and their MLeMoto Racer from a full databank of all known ICE TT Motorcycles including for example single cylinder two stroke race sound right through to the fabulous Moto Guzzi V8 500cc and Honda 250/305 six cylinder machines of the 20th century. Audio streams offer perfect synchronisation with the corresponding track position, speed, simulated gear changing and the like.
TT Museum: The Isle of Man TT Museum is fully air conditioned, located at the entry to the circuit and includes exhibits of the inaugural 1907 TT winning Norton and the inaugural TTXGP winning Agni ZEV Racer positioned either side of the entry doors with the first ICE motorcycle to break the 150 miles per hour average speed around the original Snaefell course proudly mounted on a rotating stand, located centrally in the foyer.
Over five hundred Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Machines and the last fifty years of true Mag Lev Moto Racers are displayed, a sum total in the order of eight hundred racing machines.
No fossil fuels of any form are permitted on the Isle of Man, hence the days of witnessing the older ICE machinery and hearing their unique sounds is limited to 'sound booth' recordings and simulated audio components during Mag Lev racing.
TT Future Planning: If spectator feedback is any guide, the TT Planners of the latter half of the twenty second century may have to assess the viability of a 'return' to the Mountain! Suggestions include a twenty four hour Endurance Race utilising the MAG LEV recontoured Snaefell course.
Many suggest a combination event utilising the Snaefell for Endurance and the Mag Lev Circuit for all other forms of racing.
MORE ISLE OF MAN TT COVERAGE: Please continue my 'Isle of Man TT Coverage' by selecting from the following pages...
I LOVE NEW TECHNOLOGY, TABLETS, LAPTOPS, DIGITAL CAMERAS, MOBILE PHONES/WIRELESS BROADBAND, GPS, ETC. ALL SO COOL AND 'PORTABLE'......