PHOTO CAPTION: Conceptual illustration of Hyperloop system crossing American grasslands.

HyperLoop Team Grows

Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum and Aecom join Hyperloop Transport Technology to turn Elon Musks wild-eyed idea into reality.

Published: 28-Aug-2015

While it may seem like a crazy idea at first blush, traveling in a tube at near supersonic speeds, zipping from LA to San Francisco in half a hour, Elon Musk's brain child continues to gain adherents. Hyperloop Transport Technology, or HTT, an independent organization seeking to commercialize his concept, announced it has signed agreements with Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum and global engineering design firm Aecom to lend their expertise to the project in exchange for shares in the company. People from both Boeing and Musk's SpaceX are already working on aspects of the project, which hopes to create a full-scale operating model covering 5 miles in central California in the planned community of Quay Valley, along the I-5 corridor starting as early as next year.

In principle, the Hyperloop is uses a combination of partial evacuated tube and series of inductive coils to propel each multi-passenger pod along at speeds approach the speed of sound. Like an air hockey table, air sucked into the pod is vented along its sides, keeping the vehicle away from the walls for frictionless movement.

The best modern bullet trains are capable of sustained speeds around 200 mph. The MagLev system being constructed in Japan would bring speeds closer to 400 mph. Hyperloop, if ever constructed, would rival speeds of modern jetliners.

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