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Underground travel at the speed of sound 12 Oct 2017

Herrenknecht/Muhlhauser News Release

A team of students from the Technical University of Munich in Germany won the recent SpaceX hyperloop pod competition in Los Angeles. The prototype of the Scientific Work Group for Rocketry and Space Flight (WARR) hyperloop team reached a speed of 324km/hr on the 1.25km test track which is the fastest speed ever measured in the field of hyperloop technology and thus a world record. They were congratulated by gold sponsors Herrenknecht and Muhlhauser.

The winning hyperloop pod from WARR
The winning hyperloop pod from WARR
Munich students with fastest pod
Munich students with fastest pod

In 2013, US entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk gave impetus to the search for a new hyperloop underground high-speed transport system and recently organised competitions on the purpose-built SpaceX test track in Los Angeles. He challenged students worldwide to design and build vehicle prototypes for initial test drives. He set a clear criterion; the fastest pod wins.

The WARR Hyperloop pod travelled at 324km/hr
The WARR Hyperloop pod travelled at 324km/hr
WARR Team with Muhlhauser Chairman Hubertus Muhlhauser and Managing Director Rainer Oestreicher
WARR Team with Muhlhauser Chairman Hubertus Muhlhauser and Managing Director Rainer Oestreicher

In early 2017 the WARR hyperloop team from Munich was successful in the first SpaceX hyperloop competition, and developed and optimised their capsule in the months before the second competition held in August. The winning pod was lighter than the prototype and for the first time had its own propulsion system. By using an electric motor and therefore being independent from the SpaceX accelerator vehicle used by most competitors to gain speed, the team gave themselves a competitive edge.Of the 24 competing teams, the 30-strong Munich team most impressed Musk, as their pod concept was the fastest by far.

The hyperloop travelled at full speed in a depressurised tube which reduced air resistance and gave propulsion by magnetic levitation technology. After reaching 324km/h the brakes kicked in to stop the pod in just three seconds.

Elon Musk joined the competition and described the WARR entry as “amazing.“ The competition results have wide reaching implications for the future of underground travel in large cities. The demand for future mobility and increasing urbanization calls for revolutionary concepts and hyperloop is a possible solution.

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