The idea of “flying train” has finally arrived in China, the latter is starting research on a “high-speed flying train” which could reach top speeds of 4,000 km per hour.
The highly-innovative train system Hyperloop is currently getting some Chinese competition.
The country’s state-run space contractor, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), said that it has inaguarated research on a “high-speed flying train” that it says will be able to reach top speeds of 4,000 km per hour (2,485 miles per hour).
Speaking on world records, it is 10 times faster than the world’s fastest bullet train (which is also in China), four times faster than commercial flights, and over three times the speed of sound (1,225 km/h).
As explained by Liu Shiquan, CASIC manager, the “flying train” is in essence a passenger pod that uses magnetic levitation and travels through a near-vacuum tube, to Chinese media (link in Chinese).
Furthermore, the concept is similar to that of the Hyperloop, a futuristic high-speed transportation system envisioned by Elon Musk in 2013.
As of posting, Western startups are now competing to reach the proposed 1,200 km/h speed of the Hyperloop.
Earlier this month, Los Angeles-based startup Hyperloop One, which Musk is not involved with, said its pod reached the speed of 310 km/h during a test. That set a record for a Hyperloop test, which was broken recently when a German team’s version hit 323 km/h.
Meanwhile, CASIC claims that its own version of the tube-enclosed system will be the first in the world designed for supersonic speed, though the first step will be hitting top speeds of 1,000 km/h.
Elon Musk has shared his visionary perspective saying that future versions of the Hyperloop would travel faster than the speed of sound.
CASIC also said it owns over 200 patents for the project.
Eventually, as goes successful, it plans to export the “flying train” to countries that are part of China’s “One Belt, One Road” infrastructure spending spree. However, the office did not provide or release a timetable.