"Virgin Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuring it is a responsible and sustainable form of transport."
Fresh from its world-first full hyperloop journey, Hyperloop One has linked up with one of the world’s most well-known brands to help make it a commercial success. Virgin announced the partnership with Hyperloop One after the company's founder, Richard Branson, saw the technology take its pioneering voyage. The deal includes a brand overhaul that will see a name change to Virgin Hyperloop One in the next few months, as the existing developers hope to benefit from the rail expertise Virgin has developed since becoming a mainstay of the UK rail network.
Subject to Virgin Hyperloop One becoming fully operational in the UK, a journey from Edinburgh to London could be completed in 50 minutes, slashing nearly three-and-a-half hours off the current fastest time.
Before highlighting Virgin Hyperloop One’s environmental credentials, Branson said he was impressed with what he saw of the first operational hyperloop and looked forward to helping turn its fortunes into a global passenger service. “Importantly, Virgin Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuring it is a responsible and sustainable form of transport,” he said.
The second phase of testing that Branson witnessed, which took place at Hyperloop One’s testing facility outside Las Vegas, DevLoop, the state-of-the-art shuttle travelled for 10.6 seconds and reached a top speed of 192mph (310kmh). It also reached a peak acceleration of 1.48 Gs (equal to 0 to 60mph in 1.85 seconds) for the 436-metre journey.
The race to develop a viable form of the transport technology is aided by the fact that the shuttle technology is open-sourced, meaning that organisations looking to develop it can do so without the need for a special licence.
Explaining the technology behind Virgin Hyperloop One, Branson wrote on his blog: “With Virgin Hyperloop One, passengers and cargo will be loaded into a pod, and accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The pod quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag.” Branson will join Virgin Hyperloop One’s board of directors when the deal is finalised.
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