Elon Musk promised to have preliminary plans for his Hyperloop transport system available by 12 August and he has delivered, via a blog post on the Tesla Motors website. The initial post discusses some of the options which would be available for a transport system, with the plans for the Hyperlink system following as a .PDF.
Musk’s Hyperloop system is reminiscent of the tube transportation system seen in animated comedy series Futurama, with several key differences. For one, prospective users will travel by capsule inside a tube instead of being shuttled along without any sort of enclosure. The principle is slightly different as well.
The aluminium capsules would travel at speeds of up to 800 miles per hour on air bearings, something that Musk compares to an air hockey tablet. This would allow the capsules to operate in conditions of very low friction. Air friction inside the tube, a potential problem, could be taken care of by dropping air pressure in the tube and using compressors to shift air from the front to the back of the capsule. The tubes, which would be built along existing highways in California, would not operate in a vacuum.
Part of the Hyperloop would be a railgun of sorts, accelerating and decelerating the transport capsule using an electromagnetic pulse. Musk details a host of advantages and disadvantages of the system, as well as plans to make the tube system structurally sound.
Previously Musk had said that he was not terribly keen on making the system himself, saying that Tesla Motors and SpaceX consumed too much of his time. He is now reported to be considering making a prototype of the Hyperloop but he is also asking for feedback on his alpha plans for the transport system.
Source: The Verge