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Then there's Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk's new idea called the Hyperloop, which he revealed today: an elevated, solar-powered train-in-a-tube that could whisk riders at supersonic speeds up to 900 miles. It sounds fantastic, and according to Musk could be built for less than a comparable magnetic-levitation train ? roughly $6 billion for a Los Angeles-to-San Franciso route that would cut travel time to 30 minutes for a $20 ticket.

 

The proposal from Musk ? a 57-page paper full of aerodynamic engineering concepts and economic discussion points ? has as much connection to reality as a comic book at the moment.

 

Musk describes the Hyperloop as essentially a solar-powered version of the pneumatic tubes once common in offices and drive-through bank branches. By riding on pressurized air, with a compressor fan at the front of the capsules, the vehicles could accelerate up to 760 mph without the disruptive sonic booms supersonic aircraft produce. And despite the speeds, Musk says the accelerations would be limited to no more than what passengers face today: "It would feel like you were riding in an airplane, like you're riding in a cushion of air."

 

To survive in California's earthquake-prone geography, the Hyperloop would be built on pillars designed to cushion the tube from tremors, a system that Musk contends would be safer than trains today. In fact, Musk contends if the Hyperloop tubes were coated in solar panels, they would generate more energy than the system uses and should be better in every dimension ? cheaper, safer, more energy efficient and pleasant to travel in ? than the current alternatives.

 

As for the economics, by Musk's calculations the machinery inside the tube is relatively cheap ? about $60 million or so. While the tube itself would cost $6 billion to build along Interstate 5 in California, if the Hyperloop ran at regular intervals it could pay for itself with passenger fares of $20 a ride over 20 years, at several million passengers a year. Musk contends the Hyperloop would work best for distances less than 900 miles; longer than that, airplanes make better sense.

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Its Monday already I want to know what it is already.

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Its Monday already I want to know what it is already.

Well it's Monday for us... :P

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I can't wait to shoot planes out of guns at the arcade.

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Segway 2.0, this time with side cars!

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Its Monday already I want to know what it is already.

Elon is still in bed. :p

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Still waiting Elon ...

post-37120-0-01512800-1376327966.png

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Hmmm ... looks suspiciously like the Pan Am jet from 2001.

post-37120-0-20923000-1376341216.jpg

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Will this be a US only thing, or will the technology be adapted for global use ?

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This does not say why this is cheaper then a monorail. A monorail has they same things with its track as this does. On pylons and mass manufactured. It is still expensive to build and Disney has found buses to be cheaper

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Posted Today, 22:14

This does not say why this is cheaper then a monorail. A monorail has they same things with its track as this does. On pylons and mass manufactured. It is still expensive to build and Disney has found buses to be cheaper

 

 

bottom of page 6 

 

 

The total cost of Hyperloop in this 
analysis is under $6 billion USD. Amortizing this capital cost over 20 years and 
adding daily operational costs gives a total of about $20 USD (in current year 
dollars) plus operating costs per one-way ticket on the passenger Hyperloop.
 
page 8
 
The current contender for a new transportation system between southern and 
northern California is the ?California High Speed Rail.? The parameters 
outlining this system include:
1. Currently $68.4 billion USD proposed cost
2. Average speed of 164 mph (264 kph) between San Francisco and Los 
Angeles
3. Travel time of 2 hours and 38 minutes between San Francisco and Los 
Angeles
a. Compare with 1 hour and 15 minutes by air
b. Compare with 5 hours and 30 minutes by car
4. Average one-way ticket price of $105 one-way (reference)
a. Compare with $158 round trip by air for September 2013
b. Compare with $115 round trip by road ($4/gallon with 30 mpg 
vehicle)
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Will this be a US only thing, or will the technology be adapted for global use ?

He's open sourcing it, but he's changed his mind about not building it and does plan to build a demonstrator. Announced that in a teleconference this afternoon.

In the PDF he addresses overcoming the Kantrowitz Limit, the speed limit imposed on a pod in a tube by the trapped column of air ahead of it. His solution: divert it with an electric fan, not unlike a high-bypass turbofan engine and with some of it being used to levitate the pod.

Guess this will slightly delay his other idea: an electric passenger / cargo "jet."

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He's open sourcing it, but he's changed his mind about not building it and does plan to build a demonstrator. Announced that in a teleconference this afternoon.

Guess this will slightly delay his other idea: an electric passenger / cargo "jet."

 

Good news if he really goes through with a working demonstration. He is in a very rare position to be in control of the kind of talent that can make it happen--though I imagine the engineering challenges will be quite a bit more difficult than he's making them out to be.

 

As far as powering aircraft goes, specific energy (i.e. energy per mass) is a dominating factor. I don't see how we can replace jet fuel at 43MJ/kg with today's batteries at around 1MJ/kg. The best experimental batteries still don't even come close, and of course the payload of jet fuel decreases over the course of the flight.

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The world needs more Elon Musks.

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I wonder if Musk is planning to shell out the billions to build his hyperloop.

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I wonder if Musk is planning to shell out the billions to build his hyperloop.

 

 

Kickstarter ???? LOL

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I don't see why we don't try it. New York to LA would be a no brainer.

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What would happen if someone were to fire a gun in to the front of it while it was going ~700mph??

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I was reading through the document on this and one of the major flaws i was looking at in in response to torque on the "pod" itself. both when going around curves and once you reach the cruising speed of the "pod" itself it might try to roll inside the tube.

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The world needs more Elon Musks.

 

Precisely my thinking. Hard not to have a LOT of respect for the guy. 

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What would happen if someone were to fire a gun in to the front of it while it was going ~700mph??

Given that bullets travel several times that fast they would pull away from the pod and hopefully run out of energy before impacting the pod in front of the one where it was fired. If it hit nothing it would fall to the floor of the tube at a greatly reduced velocity.

I wonder if Musk is planning to shell out the billions to build his hyperloop.

When building the SpaceX Falcon 1, the testbed for their Falcon 9 technologies, and its pads & factories he did it all on his own dime.

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