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Category: Hyperloop

Vibranium, huh? ?>

Vibranium, huh?

The Verge reported today 24 May 2016 that Hyperloop Transportation Technologies will build its Hyperloop capsules from vibranium.  As a PR stunt, it is genius.  What 700 mph vehicle could fail if it’s made from the same material as Marvel Comics’ Captain America’s shield? A closer read will show that vibranium is a carbon-fiber composite developed in cooperation with C2i, a Slovak producer of composite auto parts.  Dick Alhborn, CEO of HTT went on to describe vibranium as eight times stronger…

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Hyperloop if CAHSR Fails ?>

Hyperloop if CAHSR Fails

Is Hyperloop positioned to take over where California High Speed Rail leaves off? If the CAHSR project were to be abandoned, how much of the work could be repurposed to Hyperloop?  The answer is, a great deal.  In this hypothetical scenario, California gets a transport system better than CAHSR, but not as mind-boggling as Musk’s original vision. Californians get what they voted for California voters would get what they voted for, a high speed transportation system that would allow schedules…

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Hyperloop in Emerging Markets ?>

Hyperloop in Emerging Markets

Flying cars, personal helicopters, and teleportation.  There’s nothing like a new form of transportation to fire the imagination.  Garage-based inventors show us something new and promise more every year.  If it weren’t for these efforts, Popular Mechanics would have nothing to write about. Hyperloop, Elon Musk’s dream of a transonic transport system in an evacuated tube started out the same way.  What apparently started as a stack of scribblings on bar napkins was edited by SpaceX engineers to a cogent…

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Hyperloop Life Support ?>

Hyperloop Life Support

In the aviation business, cabin pressurization, heating, and air conditioning are quaintly called “environmentals.”  It’s not the only euphemism in commercial aviation.  The passenger briefing describes a “water landing.”  The reality is only six times has an airliner alighted on water without the loss of life.  In every case the event happened either in a river in a metropolitan area or near a rescue ship, where rescue personnel were minutes away. Sugar-coating doesn’t change the facts Hyperloop will likely follow…

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Freight via Hyperloop ?>

Freight via Hyperloop

The first space rockets carried satellites, chimps, and dogs.  Only then did we put a human in a capsule and send him to space.  The smart approach for Hyperloop is to do the same: freight first, then passengers. Artists renderings have been turning up on the web with a forty-foot container snuggled in a pod.  While the cargo may not complain about the ride, the Hyperloop system may. A standard forty-foot container is 40 ft long, 8 ft wide and…

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Hyperloop Ridiculous Claims and Artists Conceptions

Hyperloop Ridiculous Claims and Artists Conceptions

Homer Simpson told us that 97% of statistics were made up on the spot.  Politicians don’t seem to worry about the facts, either.  Hyperloop is exciting enough without ludicrous claims.  No way is riding the Hyperloop going to be free.  Cheap in off-hours, perhaps.  I’m not sure why a stretch project like Hyperloop needs unrealistic expectations added to it.  Brainstorming is a great activity.  I know not to criticize any idea however outlandish.  In this case, I think it’s just not helping the cause.

The headlines are misleading.  Read this one: Elon Musk’s Hyperloop: A Dutch team with designs on supersonic train concept (ZDNet 2016)

Supersonic Hyperloop?  Not likely.

Read here.

Artists’ Conceptions

Likewise, artists’ conception fuel the imagination.  It would help, however, if the illustrations that accompany every tech blog would be the result of a discussion with an engineer first.  No one has proposed a Hyperloop route across the Golden Gate into Marin County.  No one has proposed a Hyperloop route that would block all ship traffic into San Francisco Bay.  Yeh, yeh, I know that the bridge is iconic and a metaphor for the Bay area.  It’s just so unrealistic that it doesn’t stimulate me.

Hyperloop Passenger Experience ?>

Hyperloop Passenger Experience

California High Speed Rail promises a 2:40 transit between Los Angeles Union Station and San Francisco Transbay Transit Center.  If the Hyperloop goes 760 mph, the same trip could be made in 35 minutes.  Not everyone is travelling from central business district to central business district.  The only fair time comparison is door to door.  This calculation is particularly relevant to the alternative, air travel.  If boarding HSR or HL is as easy as getting on a subway, Hyperloop will…

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Hyperloop Test Environment – Rev 5.0 ?>

Hyperloop Test Environment – Rev 5.0

Elon Musk is putting his money where his imagination is – in a mile-long Hyperloop test track adjacent to the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA.  AECOM has been contracted to build the facility to host a competition of university teams designing capsules for the evacuated-tube high speed transport system.  My guess is that it will go in the railroad right of way across the street from SpaceX’ facility. Since Musk published his white paper describing hyper loop in 2013, the…

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