Elon Musk and a host of other developers seem hell-bent on making us go very fast. Hyperloop, a new form of wheel-less high-speed transportation is the new brainchild of Musk and it's getting closer to being a norm in our lives.
After catching wind of this possibility, China has thrown their hat in the ring and revealed its plans for turbo travel. State-run space contractor China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation recently publicised its plans to start working on a “high-speed flying train” that would be able to reach speeds of 4,000 km per hour. Which is about three times the speed of sound, four times the rate of commercial flights which move at about 900 km and ten times faster than the bullet train.
CASIC manager Liu Shiquan told the Chinese media that the goal is to achieve, “supersonic near-ground flight,” through magnetic levitation in a near-vacuum tube. Naturally, the primary concern with such an ambitious endeavor is safety. In an interview with ECNS Wire, Chief engineer for the project, Mao Kai stated that the passenger pod’s acceleration speed would be slower than an aircraft’s take off speed.
Chiming in on these assurances are state-owned websites like The Paper, which stated, “The corporation has built rich experience and accumulated technological know-how through major projects, and it has the capabilities in simulation, modeling, and experimentation for large-scale projects, as well as the world-class design capability for supersonic aircraft. All of which lay the important ground for the super-fast train project.”
It will surely be a long time before we see a train this fast in China, but the project’s initial plans are nevertheless staggering. The project will be executed in three stages according to ECNS Wire, “trains that can run up to 1,000 km/h among cities, 2,000 km/h among China's megacity clusters, and 4,000 km/h for countries along the Belt and Road line.”
Currently, the team behind the endeavor are working with over 20 research institutes both Chinese and international to make the dream of super-fast trains a reality.
What is Hyperloop?
China’s super-fast train is an obvious spin off of Musk’s Hyperloop which was recently seen in a video anihilating the 200 mph mark, running solely on air.
The train-like pods use low-pressure tunnels to travel at astonishing speeds with the goal being a journey from LA to San Francisco taking only 35 minutes thanks to speeds of 760 mph.
Built by WARR, the pods use maglev tech to allow friction free movement and once paired with a low-pressure environment, the result is pushing force that is far more powerful than anything happening outside.
What’s also unique about the Hyperloop is that it’s using entries from a range of outside influences, including universities, all with the aim of achieving a running, passenger carrying Hyperloop by 2018.
Strap in; next year is going to whiz by faster than this year did. Literally.