Since Ilon Mask voiced the
idea of the technical implementation of the high-speed tunnel transport Hyperloop, several companies have begun to work on the project. Some of them are already doing something in the "iron", others - while only theorize, building castles in the air. But the future, in which ultrafast capsules ply through vacuum tunnels, is gradually becoming more and more close.
Not so long ago, Ilon Mask announced his desire to
participate in the work, although he had previously spoken about the lack of interest in himself to implement his own idea. Well, now Richard Branson is engaged in the same project. In principle, in spirit he is close to the Mask, plus many projects of the billionaire bring him money. Now Sir Richard Branson has invested a large amount of money in Hyperloop One, and the company became known as Virgin Hyperloop One
Generally speaking, Hyperloop One has advanced further than others in its field. So, in 2016, she conducted technical tests of its infrastructure in the open air. Then the electric motor for capsules was tested. A few months ago, the company conducted tests with a full-scale model of a capsule on a track 500 meters long. This is negligible compared to the planned length of the tunnels, but even this is suitable for tests. Everything went well, the transport Hyperloop One was able to pick up speed above 320 kilometers per hour.
Probably due to the fact that Hyperloop One is closer than other tunnel companies to building a full-fledged track, Branson decided to choose it. As far as can be judged, Branson's investment was indeed significant, since the company agreed to change its name.
True, it may well be that the entrepreneur invested his own money, and did not attract his company, the Virgin Group, to invest. This was told by Nick Fox, a representative of the Virgin group of companies. Branson is currently on the board of Virgin Hyperloop One. “Richard loved the concept,” Fox said. “He has always been interested in the future of transport, be it space or Earth, and he has been operating a railway company in the UK for over 20 years.”
Now Virgin Hyperloop One has only one worthy competitor in the person of Ilona Mask. He recently promised
to pave the road between Washington and New York. Usually, Musk keeps his promises, despite the not-so-rare delays in the timing of his plans. But Branson, too, was not used to waiting, if he starts doing something, he continues to work on the project until its implementation. Hopefully, in the case of Hyperloop One, this will be the case - Branson will bring everything to its logical conclusion.
The Virgin Group is not only working on this transportation project, Branson has Virgin Galactic, a company that promotes the idea of space tourism. Now this company is gradually recovering from the SpaceOne plane crash. By the way, tickets for the first flight to orbit have been bought up for a long time, so Virgin Galactic will have to hurry in order to keep their customers happy.
In 2014, the first carrier aircraft collapsed in the air due to pilot error. The investigation lasted for many months, and the development of a new model took even longer. But last year, SpaceShipTwo, a new model, was shown by Branson. True, it is unclear whether the company fixed the mistake that led to the destruction of the previous aircraft. Hopefully, yes.
The SpaceShipTwo rocket launcher rises to a height of 15 km using the White Knight aircraft and further raises the flight altitude up to 100 km thanks to its rocket engine. At this height, he spends just a few minutes. 100 km - the estimated height for the orbital ship Jeff Bezos.
As for Hyperloop One (oh, yes, Virgin Hyperloop One), the company recently announced
its intention to create a network of high-speed transport lines in Europe. This network, if it is implemented, will connect Estonia and Finland, as well as pass through Germany and a number of other countries. Vacuum tunnels are also proposed to be built in the UK, combining Scotland, Wales and other regions of the country using a single network.