Today in North Las Vegas, Hyperloop One (formerly Hyperloop Technologies) completed its first successful open-air propulsion test.
The demonstration was the first public test of the system that could one day propel Hyperloop travelers to nearly 800 mph. While that might sound like a rough launch, Hyperloop CTO Brogan BamBrogan ensured the crowd that it’ll actually be quite similar to a plane takeoff due to variable frequency drives that slow acceleration slightly to keep the passenger pods at a comfortable level of acceleration.
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Because of the unprecedented environmental control of the planned Hyperloop system, BamBrogan also made sure to point out that it’d be an extremely safe way to travel, even at speeds that could exceed 750 mph.
Unlike Hyperloop’s future vision, today’s component test used older technology, railroad tracks, in addition to a heavy steel sled and actual wheels (no levitation) to rocket the components to just over 115 mph in a span of around two seconds, while pulling a nauseating 2.4 Gs.
The test was the first in a series that will lead to full-scale testing (in pods, with levitation) later in the year.
Update: We’ve corrected the top speed from 400 mph (as we were initially informed) to 300 mph.
Update 2: The future is a confusing place. We’ve now corrected the top speed once again from 300 mph to 116 mph.