Do you belong to those people who like to share things, e.g., great photos or interesting internet sites? I myself, never share anything. No, I'm not selfish, the same as people who share, are not necessarily generous. After all, most of the things they share, don't even belong to them.
This, once again is a misconception. Earlier, to 'share', meant to give up a part of something that one had. Perhaps the most famous example, is St. Martin, who divided his coat into two pieces. Sharing limits one and one suffers disadvantages when sharing, this is why it's considered to be noble. But today? Nearly everyone shares, and the inflationary use, makes the word 'sharing' senseless.
Everyone is looking out for himself. The railway workers are called out on strike and the long distance coach companies are happy. Joy is based on the misery of others. The whole system works that way. He who has enough capital to back himself up, can watch with glee, as the first (have to) give up. Not only does that mean one competitor less but also that the coaches can then be had for a lower price.
After this rather lengthy preamble, all that remains for us to do, is to examine one of these coaches from a technical standpoint, since it's significance will increase rather than decrease. Unfortunately, this growth has come too late for the Neoplan headquarters in Plauen, which belongs to the MAN company. Through the interim 'historical all-time low' on the bus-market, the production was moved to Ankara (Turkey). This may be a blessing in disguise because in the meantime, MAN belongs to the VW-concern and some of the affected 420 strong manpower, may be able to change over.
MAN points to the worldwide most modern dip-coat-painting in Ankara. There we find, together with the self supporting body structure, a certain similarity to the motor car production. Very different, is not only the favourable air-resistance and the optically, much finer exterior of the buses compared with the truck, also the manufacturing methods and the unbelievable amount of specifications are what pushes the price up at least two-fold and up to as much as four times the amount.
The Skyliner counts, without a doubt, to the double-deckers, which makes its handling in critical situations not particularly easy. There have already been serious accidents, which suggests that an intensive training of the drivers is really necessary. In this respect, the ESP and electronic suspension control have proved to be even more valuable. Of course, a vehicle of this sort, is fitted with assistants for lane-control and for reducing the severity of possible accidents.
The upper-deck gives one the impression of a being on a panorama terrace, that's how much light pours in. Those sitting in the front-row seats, no longer speak of a roof but of a dome. Glass, all the way down to the driver's cabin and triangular windows behind the doors provide for even more light. The air-conditioning is separate for the upper and the lower decks and in addition, for the lower deck, it's doubled.
One could even describe this 14 meter long and 4 meter high vehicle as being elegant. MAN doesn't state a drag-coefficient, but does stress the fact that it lies quite close to that of mid-size vans. The fuel tank, which is rather small for long distance travelling, makes this sound quite plausible. A foresighted driver is of course, also a big help. The low noise level also supports the elegant appearance.
Since 2001, MAN is the parent company of Neoplan. This is advantageous for the drive-train mechanics of the Skyliner. One can fall back on MAN's entire truck-programme, from the most modern technology right up to common rail, Euro 6 standard and to alternative power sources, e.g., natural gas. The hybrid technology is also being introduced, at least in the short-haul trucks. There are however, already prototypes for long distance haulage. 12/14