A startup company has built the worlds first full-scale test track for the Elon Musk-conceived transport system outside of Las Vegas. Today, that company finally ran its first test.
Hyperloop One (formerly Hyperloop technologies) accelerated a test vehicle down its track at speeds of 300 mph using the Hyperloop propulsion technology. Using the linear electric motor, which will eventually propel a passenger-filled pod, the company ran a ‘propulsion open-air test’. The vehicle, nicknamed ‘Sled’ accelerated from 0 to 60 moths in one second, generating 2.5gs of force. The idea is to use the same motor in a more aerodynamic vehicle inside of a low-pressure tube. The math says the sled would be able to hit 700 mph in those conditions.
— CNBC (@CNBC) May 11, 2016
World’s first hyperloop propulsion test pic.twitter.com/nbgJKHTvw9
— Jason Koebler (@jason_koebler) May 11, 2016
— Kim Brunhuber (@kimbrunhuber) May 11, 2016
In an interview with Mashable, Senior VO of Engineering Josh Giegel described the motor as such:
[…”Unlike typical motors, this one has no moving parts. Giegel described the motors as “blades” and what you might get if you took a typical electric motor, cut it down the seam and unrolled it. When powered, these roughly 2-feet tall by 6-inch wide blades create electromagnetic energy that reacts with the pod and pushes it along”….]
That description makes Hyperloop sound more like a linear-induction motor, such as the ones used on modern roller coasters, which propel cars at high speeds. Which may be apt, considering how much the test resembled a roller coaster in motion.
However, unlike the motors on roller coasters or high-speed rail systems, the tube the Hyperloop would run in would be a near vacuum environment, meaning less drag, meaning less motors.
According to Giegel, the motors would only need to occupy 5 to 10 percent of the track – about every 50 miles.
We’ll update this post with more images and video as they become available.