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WARR wins Hyperloop Pod race with 324 kilometers per hour

EPA/KOEN VAN WEEL

A team of 30 members from the Technical University of Munich didn’t rest on laurels for too long after its WARR Hyperloop topped the performances of the other two finalist teams’ solutions in the second Hyperloop Pod competition. Swissloop from Switzerland and Paradigm, with participants from the United States and Canada, were beat by the TUM group, which reached 324 kilometers per hour, or 201 miles per hour.

Futurist engineer and entrepreneur Elon Musk, the inventor of the system, immediately raised the bar, saying he believes a pod could go faster than sound or 1,235 kilometers per hour in the testing track. The facility of just 1.2 kilometers was built by his Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, in Hawthorne in California. In laboratory conditions, as the tube is short, competitors would need to work on very rapid acceleration and deceleration, he added and clarified the process would be spread over more than 30 kilometers in passenger transportation to avoid “spilt drinks.”

Turning supersonic would mean just a “tiny” boom would be heard due to functional vacuum conditions in the tunnel, Musk said. The first competition was held in January, and WARR also won with 93 kilometers per hour. This time Paradigm revealed it faced pressurization problems, and Swissloop also had technical difficulties.

Acceleration and deceleration would be spread over more than 30 kilometers in passenger transportation to avoid “spilt drinks,” Musk says.

The Bavarian competitors have built a light system of carbon fiber supplemented with aluminum inserts and with a 50-kilowatt electric motor. The device is powered by a 132-cell lithium-polymer battery. The pod weighs 176 pounds or 80 kilograms. It includes four pneumatic friction brakes. The project’s website says the pod accelerates to 350 kilometers per hour in twelve seconds. WARR Hyperloop was established in 2015. Musk has presented the concept four years ago.

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