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26th July 2018, Munich

Hyperloop victory for Munich

Carbon-fibre composites were critical to the success of the WARR Hyperloop team of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), in claiming their third Hyperloop Pod victory.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk launched the Hyperloop Pod Competition in 2015, to assist development of a transport system in which it is envisaged that a high speed train will travel at close to the speed of sound in a partial vacuum tube. Student teams from around the world have been invited to submit their concepts for the cabin capsule in which passengers could theoretically be transported through the tube.

WARR Hyperloop team. © Technical University of Munich

The so-far unbeaten TUM team achieved a speed of 467 kilometres per hour at the event in Los Angeles this year – a new record, although still a long way from Elon Musk’s objective of enabling the Hyperloop to move at 1,200 kilometres per hour.

“We had to reduce weight while increasing drive performance and succeeded by building the new model from lightweight carbon fibre reinforced composite materials,” said team leader Gabriele Semino. “We also replaced the 50-kilowatt electric motor from last year’s design with eight small motors, each of which drives one wheel. This increased the power performance to 240 kilowatts, or 320 horsepower. At under two metres in length, the new pod is shorter than its predecessor and has an aerodynamically optimised shape.”

WARR Hyperloop. © Technical University of Munich

Only three teams made it to the finals after the rigorous preliminary technical tests. In addition to the WARR Hyperloop, these were Delft Hyperloop (TU Delft) and EPFLoop (ETH Lausanne).

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