Hyperloop One has completed a full scale test, achieving controlled propulsion and levitation of one of its vehicles at its DevLoop site in the Nevada desert.
The test was carried out at two minutes past midnight on 12 May and was hailed as a success by the company.
Hyperloop One co-founder Josh Giegel said it was the “debut of the first new mode of transportation since the Wright Brothers flew over the dunes near Kitty Hawk”. The company was formed a little over three years ago.
Business partner and co-founder Shervin Pishevar said: “We’ve been through hard times, and we’ve been through good times. The world won’t know for a little while what happened here in the deserts of Nevada tonight but we’ve all made history, and it will be recorded and we will change the world, and we will not give up.”
At the time of the test, the pressure in the 500m long tube was around 5Pa creating what the company claims is the fourth largest vacuum chamber in the world.
About 305m of the linear motor has been installed in the tube, in which it is possible to reduce the air pressure down to the equivalent of 61km above sea level. Top speeds possible at the test site will be around 112km/h.
The initial test lasted 5.3s and used only 31m of the motor but Giegel said using more of the motor would allow it to go faster. Overall, Hyperloop One said the chassis lifted off the track and glided for 3s before coming to a halt on its own.
Pumping air out of the tube started at 8pm, taking until 11.45pm to reach 100Pa at which point preliminary tests of the motor to edge the pods backward and forward were carried out.
The team also unveiled a new carbon fibre and aluminium aeroshell – XP-1 – pod which will be used in the future tests. The shell will sit above a levitating chassis which controls the suspension, lift, guidance and propulsion.
Europe’s first tube to test new Hyperloop technology was unveiled in Delft in the Netherlands by partners Hardt and contractor Bam at the beginning of June.