Video: 4,000 MPH Hyperloop To Start Testing This Year


hyperloopAmerica has been embroiled in a debate over the wisdom of spending billions of dollars on a national high-speed rail network. A small Colorado company called ET3 has other ideas though, calling for a 4,000 mph “Hyperloop” system of vacuum tubes that could connect New York with L.A. in under an hour.

The “hyperloop” idea has been around for decades, and was most recently floated by Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, though it is unclear if he is at all involved with ET3’s project. Called “evacuated tube transport,” the hyperloop system would essentially shoot six-person capsules in a frictionless vacuum tube, allowing for theoretical speeds of up to 4,000 mph. Talk about making air travel obsolete.

ET3, which, as commentator Icoreyl pointed out never calls their system a hyperloop, but rather a ETT, or Evacuated Tube Transport. ET3 hopes to conduct a three-mile test of speeds up to 370 mph of their system within the next two years, and claims their system would cost 1/10th the estimated cost of high-speed rail, and a 1/4 of the cost of a freeway. Icoreyl also notes that passengers at those speeds would experience no perceptive change in gravity. I’m terrible at math, which includes physics, so thanks for the refresher course Icoreyl.

Imagine being able to step out for a business lunch in L.A., and return home to New York for dinner? We may get our first taste of hyperloop travel if China follows through with its plans for a 1,0000 KPH maglev/vacuum tube train.

It’s not the kind of thing I expect to see in my lifetime, but science fiction has a funny way of becoming science fact, don’t it?

Source: Yahoo!

Edited because Mr. DeMorro got a D in high school physics, and shouldn’t be allowed to do math without an assistant. 


About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • lcoreyl

    *sigh* Another terrible “article” while we wait for the real hyperloop paper. (C’mon Elon, just tell us already!!)

    ET3 deserves some attention, but they are good enough to stand on their own without making things up.

    Here are facts anyone can take 15 min to check:

    Elon Musk and hyperloop is definitely NOT ET3 / ETT:
    1) Hyperloop = Elon Musk’s unknown new idea that is better/cheaper than trains/planes. He said “not a vacuum tube”

    2) – lays out their ETT system (NOT HYPERLOOP-they never use this word

    4000mph is not going to be tested soon, there’s no timetable even:
    – ET3 has a “goal” of a 370mph 3 mile tube as a demo within 2 years. Nothing other than this goal has been released.

    “the kinds of speeds that would flatten a person”
    You should have skipped to:
    “I haven’t a clue”
    high school physics refresher: You can’t feel speed. you CAN feel a force, which is applied to you when you accelerate. (If you hop in a sports car and very lightly touch the pedal, you will eventually reach 100+mph while “feeling” nothing ). If you slam the pedal, you will feel the seat pressing you forward)

    You don’t have to worry about speed, just acceleration. At accelerations we are already used to feeling in cars/airplanes, you can get to 4000mph in around 3 min.

    • Christopher DeMorro

      @ Icoreyl

      All fair points I will rework into the article. Thanks for your insight.

      P.S. I got a D in high school physics. I try to stay away from math for this very reason.

  • Jonathan

    You’ve got the speed and gravity thing wrong.

  • Jouni Valkonen

    Here is a quote from Elon Musk:

    “This system I have in mind, how would you like something that can never crash, is immune to weather, it goes 3 or 4 times faster than the bullet train. It goes an average speed of twice what an aircraft would do. You would go from downtown LA to downtown San Francisco in under 30 minutes. It would cost you much less than an air ticket than any other mode of transport. I think we could actually make it self-powering if you put solar panels on it, you generate more power than you would consume in the system. There’s a way to store the power so it would run 24/7 without using batteries. Yes, this is possible, absolutely.” —Elon Musk

    Note that system is based on the inertia of air column. Therefore it can run at nights on stored energy. This makes Hyperloop very different system than Evacuated Tube Transport is, because there is natural energy storing option.

    This particular evacuated tube transport system has no future but ET3 is a phony start-up company that has nothing more substantial than fancy 3D models and powerpoint slides.

    • lcoreyl

      what is your evidence for: 1) Hyperloop “based on the inertia of air column” 2) ET3 is a phony startup

      • Jouni Valkonen

        where else you would like to store energy without batteries? Not that the mass density of aircolumn can be increased with moving tube cars.

        more than 99 % of ultra-high return start-up companies does not ever deliver. So it is mere statistics. Also everything that ET3 has published just reeks and I doubt that they can raise enough capital for feasibility study.

        However surprisingly, Elon Musk has started up two of ultra-high return companies, namely SpaceX and Tesla Motors and his third and fourth companies SolarCity and PayPal were also high return companies. And all of them were very successful.

        • lcoreyl

          1) again, I said EVIDENCE. Musk “talks a lot about inertia”? how about a link? (hint: there isn’t one). the link you posted doesn’t seem to factor in the friction the air column would encounter with the walls of the tube.

          There’s lots of ways to store power. My opinion is compulsators.

          Note that he said “part railgun” (look! a cited quote! source:

          railguns use compulsators. The propulsion system could be powered by a compulsator, and they could also store the energy from solar or any other source.

          2) so by your logic ALL startups are “phony” because statistically lots of startups fail? ET3 has patents, licencees, and a lot of attention from scientists. That doesn’t mean we will see ETT, but certainly they are not “phony”

          2ps) You don’t have to convince me about Elon. I’m actually drinking Musk flavor Kool-Aid right now.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            Compulsator does not differ in relevant way from batteries. And Elon has explicitly denied that energy storage does not depend on batteries. I do however agree that the deceleration energy is stored on capacitors (or compulsators), but this is not storing energy for night rides.

            Actually if you have 10 m cross sectioned tube with moving air column, air column faces only 60 mN friction per one metre of tube. And this is negligible friction. Like I said that it takes more than five days for air column to slow down, or more likely it takes several weeks to get into zero from 900 km/h.

            You must understand that hyperloop is a loop. And when you have a loop that goes round and round, there is also lots of inertia. There is quite significant amount of mass in the 1200 km long air column!

          • lcoreyl

            compulsators aren’t any different than batteries? 4000mph winds don’t present any friction problems?
            Let’s agree to disagree on basic physics. If I’m wrong you can take those equations you are using and become the richest, most famous aerodynamics engineer in history.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            obviously you have not figured out the idea of Hyperloop at rudimentary level. Please go study fluid dynamics.

          • lcoreyl

            1) The picture you linked to is not the hyperloop. it is one guess from some dude on twitter. stop implying you know what the hyperloop is. Maybe you should come up with a new name for this ring of air “idea” so as not to confuse people

            2) my degree in physics is precisely what makes me skeptical of the claim that this air column is moving in nearly frictionless environment.

            of course you also claim storing energy in chemical form is the same as kinetic, so… you’re either trolling , or crazy.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            You are complete lunatic, please disappear from the internet.

            Calculate yourself it is not that hard and do not be skeptical if you have not calcuated that. Like I stated the the frictional force is 60 mN per one metre of tube (if assumed 10 metre tube in diameter, which is of course larger than actual hyperloop tubing).

    • I think he was talking about the generation 2 Tesla Model S…..

      • susannaschick

        now that’s a car I could drive! does it also come with CHP blockers?

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