View Full Version : Elon Musk publishes Hyperloop design on PDF file on spacex website (ultra fast transport system at high energy savings)

12th August 2013, 21:16
Now this is a pretty exciting idea... it's been talked about for years, perhaps SpaceX will make it a reality.

When the California “high speed” rail was approved, I was quite disappointed, as I know many others were too. How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL – doing incredible things like indexing all the world’s knowledge and putting rovers on Mars – would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world? Note, I am hedging my statement slightly by saying “one of”. The head of the California high speed rail project called me to complain that it wasn’t the very slowest bullet train nor the very most expensive per mile.
The underlying motive for a statewide mass transit system is a good one. It would be great to have an alternative to flying or driving, but obviously only if it is actually better than flying or driving. The train in question would be both slower, more expensive to operate (if unsubsidized) and less safe by two orders of magnitude than flying, so why would anyone use it?

If we are to make a massive investment in a new transportation system, then the return should by rights be equally massive. Compared to the alternatives, it should ideally be:

• Safer

• Faster

• Lower cost

• More convenient

• Immune to weather

• Sustainably self-powering

• Resistant to Earthquakes

• Not disruptive to those along the route

Is there truly a new mode of transport – a fifth mode after planes, trains, cars and boats – that meets those criteria and is practical to implement? Many ideas for a system with most of those properties have been proposed and should be acknowledged, reaching as far back as Robert Goddard’s to proposals in recent decades by the Rand Corporation and ET3.

Unfortunately, none of these have panned out. As things stand today, there is not even a short distance demonstration system operating in test pilot mode anywhere in the world, let alone something that is robust enough for public transit. They all possess, it would seem, one or more fatal flaws that prevent them from coming to fruition.

Constraining the Problem

The Hyperloop (or something similar) is, in my opinion, the right solution for the specific case of high traffic city pairs that are less than about 1500 km or 900 miles apart. Around that inflection point, I suspect that supersonic air travel ends up being faster and cheaper. With a high enough altitude and the right geometry, the sonic boom noise on the ground would be no louder than current airliners, so that isn’t a showstopper. Also, a quiet supersonic plane immediately solves every long distance city pair without the need for a vast new worldwide infrastructure.

However, for a sub several hundred mile journey, having a supersonic plane is rather pointless, as you would spend almost all your time slowly ascending and descending and very little time at cruise speed. In order to go fast, you need to be at high altitude where the air density drops exponentially, as air at sea level becomes as thick as molasses (not literally, but you get the picture) as you approach sonic velocity.
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12th August 2013, 22:03
Magnetics like China, only with the high standard of long lasting light weight material,(passenger weight and luggage must be included in the centrifical force as the train travels. Tracks that "L" loop and lock around the wheel carriage, that will cling on curves, and in between. I wish I could draw it here, but alas, it's in my mind. Our tracks now have an "I" with wheels that lock from the inner side of the track to keep it in place. If the track were about just above the wheels in and upside down "L" it would keep the wheels from flying upward, and no drag if the wheels are magnetic and one side of the track is positive, and the other negative. Sorta like a electric race track, but instead of putting a peg in the bottom of the train to catch the current by touching the strip of charged metal in the track, the "L"(upside down) can lock both all the wheels like a roller coaster lock. They can be bolted and welded.
Then again thinking about the peg at the bottom would have seemed appealing, until I realized, you'd need more than one peg per car, and always the danger of one breaking off over a period of time from wear and tear.
Straighter track pinpointing cities in a straight line, so the high speed rail travel allows for breaking time, and there can also be express from north to south, west to east, with a few stops in between.

12th August 2013, 22:11
I read an article about this, it sounds like it won't be worked on for a while.
The space tourism thing takes all the companies energy for now.


13th August 2013, 09:10
I was about to post this and noticed your thread interesting concept.......


12 August 2013 Last updated at 23:32

Elon Musk unveils San Francisco-LA 'Hyperloop' idea

Passengers would undergo forces of gravity similar to an aeroplane, Mr Musk said

Vid on link...http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23677205

US-based entrepreneur Elon Musk has unveiled his proposed near-
supersonic "Hyperloop" transport concept to link Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The SpaceX, Tesla and PayPal founder envisions using magnets and fans to shoot
capsules floating on a cushion of air through a long tube.If the Hyperloop is ever
built, a trip on it between the two California cities would last about 30 minutes, he
said.But Mr Musk says he is currently too busy to develop the project himself.

In a paper outlining the Hyperloop proposal, Mr Musk suggested the solar-powered
system would be a faster, safer, less costly, and more efficient mode of transport
between Los Angeles and San Francisco than the high-speed train currently under

"Short of figuring out real teleportation, which would of course be awesome... the
only option for superfast travel is to build a tube over or under the ground that
contains a special environment," he wrote.

'$20 a ticket'

Mr Musk estimated the system linking the two cities, which are 380 miles (610km)
apart, would cost $6bn (£3.9bn).Capsules could depart as often as every 30
seconds and could also carry cars, travelling at up to 760mph (1,220 km/h), nearly
the speed of sound.Passengers seated in cabins inside the capsules would
experience slightly more than the force of gravity, more like on an aeroplane than a
roller coaster, he said on a conference call.

He said he would likely build a prototype of the concept, but not immediately, as he
is busy with his commercial space project SpaceX.A demonstration model would
take up to four years to complete, he said.He said the concept would best work
between cities closer than 1,000 miles, because beyond that supersonic air travel
would be preferable.But for the shorter distance, his new concept would beat the
plane, he argues, because it would not waste time ascending and descending.

The San Francisco to Los Angeles route would be elevated alongside a current
California motorway, which would enable it to be constructed with minimal disputes
over land rights, Mr Musk said. The tube and supporting columns would be
designed to withstand earthquakes.

He estimated a trip would cost $20 (£13).





Published on 12 Aug 2013

Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The Hyperloop is here, in its full, theoretical glory. After
keeping the public in suspense for about a year, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla
Motors and Space Exploration Technologies, has finally revealed some concrete
details of what he sees as a new, superfast mode of solar-powered transportation.
(Source: Bloomberg)

14th August 2013, 10:02
How long do we wait for world's fastest train?



Published on 13 Aug 2013

PayPal founder Elon Musk has invented a train which can travel at 800 mph.
After Cathy Newman's report, technology journalist Molly Wood and
Philippa Oldham of the Institute of Engineers join her in the studio to talk
about the development.