The Chinese have created their own Hyperloop and will soon overtake airplanes (623 km/h!)

The China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) has created a T-Flight train that accelerates to 623 km/h, a speed that engineers want to double.

It is currently the fastest train ever created on the planet.

The engineers’ main goal is to create a train that can outrun an airplane, so that ground transportation can be as fast as air transportation. And they may succeed.

T-Flight is the Hyperloop that Elon Musk promised

CASIC test tunnel

Hyperloop trains became popular relatively recently, when Elon Musk first talked about them. He wanted to create his own Hyperloop connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the project is now frozen. Partly due to a lack of technical and engineering solutions to make it happen.

CASIC is a state-owned military-industrial company that produces some of the most advanced military and space equipment in the country. And while Musk has virtually abandoned the idea, the Chinese intend to build a real Hyperloop.

What is the advantage of Hyperloop

A Hyperloop or vacuum train is a train that travels on a magnetic cushion through a sealed tunnel from which air has been pumped out.

In these tunnels, there is no air resistance or wheel-to-rail contact, which take away some of the power, slow travel and create additional noise. The train speed in such tunnels should be at least 1000 km/h.

The biggest drawback of the concept is the very high cost of implementation. But in addition to the fact that hundreds of kilometers of pressurized tunnels with compressed air have to be built, any abnormal air leakage will lead to an instant accident and death of passengers.

CASIC has built the world’s largest Hyperloop test tunnel in Shanxi province. It’s only 2 kilometers long, but it’s already longer than what its competitors have previously demonstrated.

The pressure inside the tunnel is in the range of 0.3 to 0.001 bar. By comparison, the pressure at sea level is about 1 bar.

For several months, engineers tested the train in the tunnel at low speeds, gradually increasing acceleration. In the end, the train reached a speed of more than 623 km/h, but the company did not give the exact figure.

CASIC wants to accelerate a train to 1,000 km/h

T-Flight test capsule

623 km/h is an impressive result, given the stable levitation, but it is not enough for Hyperloop.

In the second phase, CASIC will enlarge the test tunnel 30 times, up to 60 km. This will allow the train to be tested at 1,000 km/h. By doing so, it will be the first time that the train will be faster than an airplane.

In the future, the company wants to build a Hyperloop connecting Datong to Beijing. That’s about 346 kilometers. By car, the road between the cities takes more than four hours, and the T-Flight will cover the same distance in less than 30 minutes.

And in China, where the population exceeds 1.4 billion people, such expensive public transportation can pay off.

Other companies developing Hyperloop are gradually closing down

Over the past 10 years, there have been many companies that wanted to build their own Hyperloop. Most of them shut down before they even had a working prototype.

At the end of last year, Hyperloop One announced its closure – this company is one of the few that was able to build a working prototype of the tunnel. True, the capsule in it moved at a maximum speed of 172 km/h.

Since its founding in 2014, the company has raised $450 million, but has not been able to achieve serious results.

Thus, CASIC is the only known company currently developing Hyperloop that has realistic plans, achievements and resources.

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