HYPERLOOP HEAD-SCRATCHER

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - Letters -

In your Septem­ber is­sue, there is an ar­ti­cle on the pro­posed Hyperloop trans­port sys­tem, which con­sists of an evac­u­ated tube fit­ted with elec­tro­mag­nets in­side which a cap­sule will ride on a cush­ion of air at 1 100 km/h, be­ing pulled along with a fan and ob­tain­ing ex­tra propul­sion from the mag­nets. I can un­der­stand the power of the mag­nets, but how can the fan work and the cap­sule float on air if the tube has been evac­u­ated? Have I missed some­thing? JM KIRBY HOWICK

( Musk’s orig­i­nal con­cept used a par­tial vac­uum and bor­rowed the “air cas­tor” idea, en­vis­ag­ing trans­porta­tion pods rid­ing on an ex­tremely thin layer of air, with fans bal­anc­ing pres­sure build-up. Sub­se­quent im­ple­men­ta­tions have ex­plored ma­glev prin­ci­ples. – Ed­i­tor) PM

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