The very first actual Hyperloop passenger capsule was unveiled in Spain this week, and while it looks pretty big, the company says it will carry folks at speeds of over 1,000 kilometres per hour, or, as I like to call it, really fucking fast.
If you’re out of the loop, (see what I did there?) Hyperloop is a company aiming to use low-pressure steel tubes and magnetic levitation (maglev) to shoot capsules full of people or freight around at insane speeds. The idea was first proposed by Elon Musk because of course it was.
Maglev isn’t a new idea, though, it’s already used on some superfast rail networks around the world. It works by using incredibly strong electromagnets in the tracks to repel against magnets in the train, allowing it to float over the tracks, which, of course, means you get less friction, which then allows for greater speeds.
Hyperloop reckons it’ll get the capsules moving at speeds of up to 760 miles per hour or 1,223 km/h. To put that into perspective, the average cruising speed for a passenger jet is around 925 km/h. As you can see below, the design is pretty schmick.
World’s first Hyperloop passenger capsule unveiled today by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies- The world’s first full-scale passenger Hyperloop capsule, built in Spain by Airtificial, gets ready to head to Toulouse R&D facility for optimization pic.twitter.com/vkASj4Qvgg
— Sangeetha Kandavel (@sang1983) October 2, 2018
And in the video below, you can see how they put it all together.
The completed capsule will be sent to France for testing and from there, it will hopefully be “fully optimized and ready for passengers” in 2019, chairman and co-founder of HyperloopTT, Bibop Gresta, said.
But it’s gonna be a lot longer before a fully fledged Hyperloop network is up and running, so until then, you’ll just have to keep catching planes, folks.