Ilon Musk with her new partner Sir Richard Branson continue to
improve the technology of high-speed tunnel transport Hyperloop. True, the tests are still being conducted on a relatively small stretch of the path with a length of 500 meters. However, for now this is quite enough to test the speed characteristics of the capsule. This time it was dispersed up to 386 kilometers per hour.
By the way, this event was marked by the appointment of Richard Branson as head of the board of directors of Virgin Hyperloop One. Plus, the company received $ 50 million in additional investments. Caspian Venture Capital and DP World have invested them in the high-speed “train”.
According to the company's press service, a team of technicians conduct capsule tests every few weeks. Almost every time the results are becoming more noticeable. In the autumn of this year, apparently, unable to withstand the fact that the most interesting hi-tech project is being implemented without his participation, billionaire Richard Branson decided to invest in the company.
It is this startup that has advanced further in terms of technical implementation. For example, a year ago, the Hyperloop One team conducted tests in the open air. Then, however, there was no capsule yet, instead of it, the operation of an electric motor was checked. A few months later, the company decided to carry out tests with a full-scale model of a capsule on a track half a kilometer long. Of course, this is very small compared to plans for laying thousands of kilometers of tunnels, but tests can be carried out.
Initially, the capsule showed a result of 320 kilometers per hour, which is not so much compared with the original plans (from 1000 km / h). Nevertheless, progress is still noticeable - the design of the capsule is being improved, an almost full-fledged tunnel has appeared, although without exhausted air. There are a large number of further plans.
How great was the investment of Branson can be judged at least by the fact that the startup decided to change its name - from Hyperloop One to Virgin Hyperloop One. Thus, just one word in the title showed who is now the real owner of Hyperloop. By the way, Branson initially became one of the members of the board of directors of his new company. “He has always been interested in the future of transport, be it space or Earth, and he has been managing a railway company in the UK for over 20 years,” said
Nick Fox, a representative of the Virgin Group.
Now Branson became the head of the board of directors, replacing Shervin Pishevar in this post. He left the project on December 15. The reason - the scandal with sexual harassment. The same entrepreneur also left the venture fund Sherpa Capital, founded about 5 years ago with Scott Stanford.
By the way, Caspian Venture Capital is a Russian fund, which is controlled by the owner of the Summa group, Ziyavudin Magomedov. In total, this fund invested more than $ 140 million in Hyperloop One. In October last year, Magomedov also became a member of the company's board of directors.
The author of the project’s idea is Ilon Mask, who presented some sketches and calculations, but stated that he himself would not lead this project. Some time later, he still spoke about the desire to engage in the creation of a similar transport system. Mask began to develop the construction of tunnels. Relatively recently, he decided to build a route between Washington and New York with the help of his company The Boring Company.
Ideally, the speed of the Hyperloop capsules should reach 1200 km / h due to the rarefied air in the tunnel (not vacuum, but close to the pressure of only 0.0002 atmospheres) and the aerodynamic airbag. Such a train can quickly travel from one edge of the continent to another. Hyperloop One began to operate in 2014.
According to the
Virgin Hyperloop One tunnel air conditioning system, all control systems, electronic and other components made it possible to withstand significant loads. Now the company plans to continue testing, gradually increasing the speed of movement.
Branson believes that the achievements of Virgin Hyperloop One are very significant. He also claims that the company will soon reveal its full potential by entering key markets, including Russia.