Hyperloop One successfully conducted their first full-scale system test two months ago. The team achieved a maximum speed of 70 mph inside the fourth-largest vacuum chamber in the world. An all-new Hyperloop pod was also unveiled along with the company's historic Kitty Hawk moment.
Hyperloop One's "Kitty Hawk" moment
Last May 12, Hyperloop One conducted their first full system test to exhibit that Hyperloop's magnetic levitation technology indeed works. Although the full-scale system test only reached a maximum speed of 70 mph along Hyperloop's test track on the deserts of Nevada, it was still a historic moment for the team and for the future of ultrafast travel. Josh Giegel, Hyperloop One's co-founder, expressed his emotions shortly after the momentous success of the full-scale systems test.
"It was a crazy idea to try to do this when we started the company. We’ve been through hard times, and we’ve been through good times. The world won’t know for a little while what happened here in the deserts of Nevada tonight but we’ve all made history, and it will be recorded and we will change the world, and we will not give up".
Giegel and his co-founder Shervin Pishevar described the events on May 12th as a "Kitty Hawk" moment. They were able to exhibit a "proof of concept" milestone, which seemed to only exist in science fiction literature and, for a while, considered as unachievable.
How the full-scale systems test was conducted
Before the historic Kitty Hawk moment was achieved, the Hyperloop team had to work on reducing the tube pressure. In a matter of 3 hours and 45 minutes, the team was able to vacuum pump the tube down to a pressure of 100 pascals and just before the testing itself, the tube pressure was down to around 5 pascals. Giegel and Pishevar said that the Hyperloop One tube became the fourth-largest vacuum chamber in the world and the biggest one to belong to a private body. After checking and confirming the status of the system's technologies such as the motor, pod, power electronics, controls, PRV etc., DevLoop test engineer James D'Etremont began the test countdown. The sled lifted off the track and started to zoom down the track shortly after as it was propelled by the electromagnetic force from the stator. The whole test lasted for 5.3 seconds and the actual sled run for only 3 seconds before slowing itself down to a halt. The team only had 100 feet of the motor to test with but they promised that by having a longer motor, a faster speed can be achieved.
The new Hyperloop One pod
The excited Hyperloop One founders made another revelation from their latest announcement. Giegel and Pishevar unveiled the all-new Hyperloop One XP-1 pod. The team will be using the pod for their full systems test in the coming months at DevLoop. As stated by the team, XP-1 is a carbon fiber and aluminum aeroshell pod that is able to achieve "autonomous high-speed propulsion and levitation in a vacuum environment". The pod is capable of ultrafast travel due to Hyperloop One's levitating chassis technology that is responsible for the suspension, lift, guidance, and propulsion of the futuristic vehicle.
[Image Source: Hyperloop One]
Hyperloop One's next moves
Along with the unveiling of the XP-1 pod, Hyperloop One also announced that they have installed almost 1,000 feet of the linear motor in a 1,640-foot-long tube. According to Hyperloop One, this nearly-complete system is designed to reduce the air pressure inside the tube to "the equivalent of 200,000 feet above sea level". It is also expected to zoom at a top speed of around 250 mph upon testing. This is just the beginning of Hyperloop One's goal to revolutionize the future of transportation. Despite the many challenges standing in the way of Hyperloop's technology, a number of research and development activities around the world are still taking place.
Via Hyperloop One