SA born billionaire, Elon ‘Tony Stark’ Musk, has revealed details of his plans for a superfast mode of public transport called the Hyperloop. A solar-powered, transit system comprised of aluminium pods travelling inside steel tubes at speeds of up to 1287 km/h. You would be able to go from Joburg to Durban in 30 min.
Musk revealed the ‘5th mode of human transport’ yesterday and basically explained that travelling the Hyperloop on the initial route would get you from Los Angeles to San Francisco (roughly 600km) in 30 min for $20.
This is how he described it last year:
‘How would you like something that can never crash, is immune to weather, goes 3 or 4 times faster than the bullet train… it goes an average speed of twice what an aircraft would do. You would go from downtown LA to downtown San Francisco in under 30 minutes. It would cost you much less than an air ticket than any other mode of transport. I think we could actually make it self-powering if you put solar panels on it, you generate more power than you would consume in the system. There’s a way to store the power so it would run 24/7 without using batteries. Yes, this is possible, absolutely’
And yesterday he provided details of how it would actually work.
According to Musk this is what you need to know.
“Pods would be mounted on thin skis made out of inconel, a trusted alloy of SpaceX that can withstand high pressure and heat. Air gets pumped through little holes in the skis to make an air cushion, Musk says. The front of the pod would have a pair of air jet inlets—sort of like the Concorde. An electric turbo compressor would compress the air from the nose and route it to the skis and to the cabin. Magnets on the skis, plus an electromagnetic pulse, would give the pod its initial thrust; reboosting motors along the route would keep the pod moving.”
In the interview with Bloomberg, Musk goes into more technical details and the physics behing the Hyperloop HERE.
As for the actual possibility of the Hyperloop being built, well it’s just an idea for now and Musk just pitched the concept. So in other words there was a whole big hoo haa about a new mode of transport that currently has no plans to actually be implemented.
[via Business Week]